Thursday, March 12, 2009

EA for Replacement of Chemical Toilets in Denali Available for Public Comment

AAI just received the proceeding email from Denali National Park:

Environmental Assessment for Replacement of Chemical Toilets in Denali National Park and Preserve Available for Public Comment

An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the replacement of the restroom facilities at the Polychrome Overlook, Teklanika Rest Stop, and Teklanika River Campground in Denali National Park and Preserve is now available for public review and comment, announced Superintendent Paul R. Anderson. The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to remove the existing chemical toilets at these sites and replace them with non-chemical facilities.

The rest stops and the campground utilize chemical toilets that accommodate more than 220,000 visitors per season. These facilities generate over 3,000 gallons per day of chemical laden wastewater which is pumped and hauled to the park’s wastewater treatment facility near the Riley Creek Campground.

In the spring of 2005, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the NPS entered into a compliance order by consent to bring the wastewater treatment facility into compliance with regulations for wastewater treatment discharge. The NPS will construct new sewage treatment facilities in 2010 to better treat the waste. Converting the chemical-based toilets to vault toilets will eliminate the need to process these chemicals through the wastewater treatment system, resulting in more effective wastewater treatment. Removal of the chemical toilets is an important step toward bringing the wastewater treatment facility into compliance with state regulations.

Installation of vault toilets will also decrease the overall wastewater pumping and hauling requirements. It will reduce maintenance costs and employee exposure to hazardous chemicals. In addition, the chemical toilets currently in use are obsolete. Replacement parts are no longer being manufactured. The existing parts stockpile is expected to be exhausted by the end of the 2009 season.

The “Replacement of Restroom Facilities at Polychrome Overlook, Teklanika Rest Stop, and Teklanika River Campground” EA is available on the NPS planning web site at The EA analyzes the impacts of the proposed actions and the alternatives. It was completed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR 1508.9).

Comments on the EA may be submitted through April 13, 2009, preferably via the web site at Comments may also be sent to Richard L. Anderson by email at, by fax at (907) 644-3814, or via the mail at: Environmental Planning and Compliance, NPS Alaska Regional Office, 240 West 5th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501.

If you have any questions about the EA or need a hard copy, please contact project manager Tamara Scholten at (907) 683-6213 or

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