NAVFAC Northwest

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island

Action Memorandum Available for Comment July 18 - August 18

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NAS Whidbey Island PFAS Drinking Water Investigation


The Navy started the off-base drinking water investigation on Whidbey Island in November 2016. From November 2016 through November 2019, the Navy sampled 280 drinking water wells near Ault Field, OLF Coupeville, and the Area 6 Landfill for PFAS. Of the total 280 wells, samples collected from 16 wells (37 properties) are above the EPA LHA level established for PFOS and/or PFOA. The Navy conducted four phases of drinking water sampling near Ault Field, two phases near OLF Coupeville, and two phases near Area 6 Landfill. The Navy held several public meetings from 2016-2018 to share the plan for off-base drinking water sampling and associated results. Residents in the sampling areas were notified by letter and can arrange sampling -- if they haven't already done so -- by calling 360-396-6387. We encourage residents in the sampling areas to have their wells sampled. See “Documents” below for factsheets and posters developed for the public meetings.


The Navy is providing bottled water or kitchen sink filter to well owners/users with impacted drinking water wells above the EPA’s LHA. The Navy will update property owners on their validated results as they become available. Out of respect to residents' privacy, location-specific test results will only be released by the Navy to the affected residents. However, the Navy will post anonymous test results on the website such that the public is informed of the general results in drinking water wells around NAS Whidbey Island. See “Documents” below.


In October 2017, the Navy began biannual sampling of drinking water wells where PFAS were detected, and drinking water wells adjacent to properties with PFAS exceedances. These are precautionary measures to ensure residents living near our installations are not being exposed to PFAS in off-base drinking water. The Navy will continue biannual sampling until a long-term remedial solution is identified and implemented based on appropriate federal and/or state regulations.


The Navy continues to work directly with residents, community leaders and other federal, state and local agencies on this important national issue and will keep the community informed while respecting the privacy of individual residents.


Drinking Water in Coupeville near OLF Coupeville:

The Navy identified eight drinking water wells (associated with 11 homes) above the EPA’s LHA. The Navy identified connecting the affected residences to the Town of Coupeville drinking water distribution system and adding granular activated carbon adsorption treatment to the Town of Coupeville’s Water Treatment Plant, as the most protective and efficient long-term solution to address PFAS in private drinking water wells.


Major milestones:

·         Construction started in February 2018

·         PFAS treatment was installed and verified by July 2019

·         Seven home connected to new waterline by March 2020

·         Final improvements for the Town of Coupeville’s Water Treatment Plant – on going


Drinking Water in Oak Harbor near Area 6 Landfill and Ault Field:

The Navy identified eight drinking water wells (associated with 37 homes) above the EPA’s LHA. The Navy developed an Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA) to evaluate long-term solutions for impacted drinking water wells near Area 6 Landfill and Ault Field. The EE/CA was finalized in March 2020 after a 30-day public comment period.


The Navy is presenting an Action Memorandum with the preferred alternatives identified in the EE/CA. The Action Memorandum is available for public comment July 18-Aug. 18. The preferred alternatives, listed below, were selected based on effectiveness, implementability, and cost.

  • Connection to Navy Water Supply (one home associated with one well)
  • Connection to City of Oak Harbor Water Supply (26 homes connected with six wells)
  • New (replacement) Drinking Water Well (one home associated with one well



On-Base PFAS Investigation


Across the country, the Navy has been conducting base-wide evaluations to identify additional potential PFAS releases. These evaluations are being conducted under the Navy’s Environmental Restoration Program which meets the requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Following CERCLA, the Navy’s base-wide assessments are called preliminary assessments/site inspections, and their purpose is to verify, validate, and update the inventory of PFAS release sites aboard the installation for further investigation and cleanup. 


At NAS Whidbey Island, the Navy has completed preliminary assessments for Ault Field (including the Area 6 Landfill), Outlying Landing Field (OLF) Coupeville, and Seaplane Base. The Navy is at varying stages of the program at these sites. For further information on the findings of these assessments and associated investigations, click the specific area on the left side of this webpage.


If you have any questions, please contact one of the Public Affairs Officers listed below.



Mike Welding

     Ken Johnson

Public Affairs Officer 

     Public Affairs Officer 

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island 

     Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest 



Office: 360-257-2962 

     Office: 360-396-6387 

Cell: 360-914-7915 

     Cell: 360-340-5592 



1322 Patterson Ave. SE, Suite 1000, Washington Navy Yard, D.C. 20374-5065

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