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Newtok Planning Group

Newtok Environmental Site Inventory and Assessment 

Newtok Environmental Site Inventory and Assessment Project Documents

The Newtok Environmental Site Inventory and Assessment Project involves the inventory of hazardous substances and sources of potential or known contamination in the Village of Newtok. An inventory, assessment and cleanup strategy of the current village site is a necessary part of Newtok's relocation strategy. The purpose of the inventory is to document the impacts to the surrounding environment if the village structures and facilities are washed away as a result of erosion.

This project is important to the relocation process because it fulfills some of the federal government’s requirements for “no net loss” regarding wetlands preservation. The goal of the federal “no net loss” policy is to balance wetland loss due to economic development with wetlands reclamation, mitigation, and restorations efforts, so that the total acreage of wetlands in the country does not decrease, but remains constant or increases. Because some of the development that has taken place at Newtok's relocation site, Mertarvik, is on designated wetlands (the Mertarvik barge landing and staging area), restoring the current village to its natural state after the community has relocated will meet the requirements of the “no net loss”.  In November 2014, a contractor, Hobbit Environmental Consulting Corporation, was hired to conduct the project. The project consisted of three parts:

Part 1 - Inventory of Hazardous Substances:

  • An inventory was conducted of hazardous substances and sources of potential or known contamination in the Village of Newtok. Existing and potential recognized environmental conditions associated with residences and public facilities (including village fuel tank farm, power plant, and landfill) were identified. The purpose of the inventory is to document the impacts to the surrounding environment if the village structures and facilities are washed away as a result of erosion. The inventory will be published in the final project report with the assessment of identified conditions and clean up strategy.
  • Interim Deliverable: Part I: Hazardous Materials Inventory (see also drop-down above, "Newtok Environmental Site Inventory and Assessment Documents", for Appendices to this document).

Part 2 - Assessment of Identified Conditions:

  • An assessment was made of identified conditions. Investigations were conducted in general accordance with "Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process" established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM Designation E1527-00). The project identified alternatives and preliminary costs for remediation, and examined potential impacts if village structures were released to the environment if they were not cleaned up prior to the erosion activities washing them into the Bering Sea.
  • Interim Deliverable: Part II: Assessment (see also drop-down, "Newtok Environmental Site Inventory and Assessment Documents", above).    

Part 3 - Clean-up Strategy:

  • A cleanup strategy of the village site was developed based on the inventory and assessment. The clean-up strategy will be implemented after the community has relocated to the new village site.
  • Final Deliverable: Part III: Hazardous Substances Clean Up Plan (see also drop-down, "Newtok Environmental Site Inventory and Assessment Documents", above).    

The Newtok Environmental Site Inventory and Assessment Project is funded with qualified outer continental shelf oil and gas revenues by the Coastal Impact Assistance Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior


For more information contact:

Sally Russell Cox

Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
Phone: 907-269-4588
Email: sally.cox@alaska.gov