Unexploded Ordnance Study at Asan Bay Finds Marine Life to be Safe

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Date: February 26, 2015
Contact: Mike Gawel, Chief of Resources Management, 671-477-7278 Ext 1010

Unexploded Ordnance Study at Asan Bay Finds Marine Life to be Safe

Military records and investigations by the National Park Service, the US Navy, and the Guam Environmental Protection Agency indicate that approximately 58 metric tons of unexploded World War II Japanese and American ordnance (UXO), containing hazardous substances, were dumped in a site offshore of the Asan Beach Unit of War in the Pacific National Historical Park, during post-battle cleanup operations. Although the remains of WWII ordnance lie scattered on the ocean floor after over 70 years, they are still dangerous with the potential to explode. Visitors are cautioned not to pick up or touch any UXO remains.

The National Park Service contracted GSI Pacific Inc., to conduct a focused investigation of the site in accordance with the US Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 and the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986. A Human Health Risk Assessment was conducted to identify potential human health risks from exposures to fishery resources harvested at Asan Bay. Tissues of commonly-eaten reef organisms at the site were collected in 2014 and analyzed for potential contaminants from the UXO and possible chemicals from their degradation. In addition, a Qualitative Ecological Risk Assessment was also performed to evaluate the potential risk to marine organisms from exposures to the contaminants.

The investigation and assessment study determined potential contaminants were present at concentrations well below human health risk hazard levels and the Ecological Risk Assessment concluded the chemicals of concern do not pose an unacceptable risk to the marine organisms.

The public is reminded WWII ordnance on land and offshore is dangerous. When you see suspected ordnance, remember the three R's:

Recognize: World War II–era bombs, grenades, shells or bullets are extremely dangerous.

Retreat: If you discover any munitions, MOVE AWAY. Leave them where you find them. 

Any contact puts your life at RISK.

Report: CALL 911. Tell where you found the bomb or shell.

–NPS –


Last updated: March 1, 2015

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