Fisheries & Ecological Services
Alaska Region


Environmental Contaminants

Cleanup on Refuges

Nationally, an organized program for cleanup of contaminant problems on refuges began in 1991 when the Service received funding from Congress for the removal of leaking underground storage tanks. Subsequently the program was expanded to more broadly encompass contaminant remediation and resolution of environmental compliance issues on refuges. The Division of Engineering has the lead for internal compliance issues within the Service. Contaminant Cleanup, Amchitka Island, AK Maritime NWR. USFWS. Click to Enlarge specialists work with the Environmental Compliance Program (Division of Engineering), the National Wildlife Refuge System, and individual refuges to identify and delineate contaminated sites, conduct investigations, and support cleanup efforts.

Due to the remote nature of Alaska's refuges, most contaminant issues are discovered during biological studies, internal audits or through the Contaminant Assessment Process.

The Environmental Contaminants Program also participates in planning activities and oversight of contaminant remediation projects conducted by various responsible parties on National Wildlife Refuges. For example, Environmental Contaminant Specialists have worked closely with the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on an extensive surface cleanup of Amchitka Island in the Aleutians.

Last reviewed: March 24, 2014