Cleanup: Two sites in Lower Duwamish move forward with cleanup

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The Lower Duwamish Waterway (LDW) is a heavily developed five-mile stretch of the Duwamish River located south of downtown Seattle. Beginning near the southern end of Boeing Field (King County International Airport), the LDW runs between the neighborhoods of Georgetown and South Park before eventually emptying into Elliott Bay.

Over a century of industrial use has polluted the river bed sediments with toxic chemicals. In 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed the Lower Duwamish Waterway as a Superfund site, giving them oversight of sediment cleanup.

At Ecology, our role is to stop or reduce land-based sources of pollution so that river sediments are no longer contaminated. It’s no simple task – stormwater from over 20,000 acres of land drains into the LDW, and cleaning up such a large area means we have to deal with a variety of historic uses and current and to multiple owners.

We operate over 20 formal cleaning sites in the LDW area, with many more independent sites in our voluntary cleaning program. There are sites at every stage of the cleanup process, from initial assessment of contamination and risks to human and environmental health, through more detailed investigations and project design, to final cleanup. and monitoring.

This fall, we have two sites in the LDW area reaching different stages of the cleanup process, and we’re asking for your input.

Independent Metals

Located in the South Park neighborhood, the Independent Metals site spans three acres along the Lower Duwamish Waterway, in the area bounded roughly by South Kenyon Street, South Chicago Street and 8e South Ave. It is made up of several tax parcels and a portion of public right-of-way.



The site has seen several land uses over the past century. Previous businesses on the site included a petrol station and a boat manufacturer. More recently, Independent Metals operated a scrap metal and recycled metal operation at the site between 2006 and 2014, and Silver Bay Logging used the site to transfer processed logs between 1996 and 2015.

Based on initial investigations, we have determined that the site has soil contaminated with:

  • Total petroleum hydrocarbons of the diesel and oil range (TPH)
  • Carcinogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (cPAH)
  • Tetrachloroethene (PCE)
  • Trichloroethene (TCE)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Metals including arsenic, cadmium and lead

We would like your opinion on two documents:

  • Order agreed. This is a legal agreement that we have negotiated with those potentially responsible. They will be required to investigate environmental conditions, identify alternatives for cleaning up the site, and write a draft cleanup action plan.
  • Public participation plan. This is Ecology’s plan to inform and involve the community during the cleanup process.

The public comment period will run from October 24 to November 22, 2022. During this period, you may submit comments via an online form or by email to [email protected]

We are also hosting an online public meeting on Wednesday, October 26, starting with a presentation from 6:30-7:30 p.m., followed by a question and answer session.

Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Khmer interpreters will be available. Visit our meeting registration page for more details.

North Boeing Field – Georgetown Steam Plant

North Boeing Field – Georgetown Steam Plant is a 116-acre site sandwiched between Boeing Field and East Marginal Way S in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. The entire site is still being assessed to determine where the contamination needs to be addressed and the best ways to clean it up.

Aerial view of the project area, with several large industrial buildings, parking lots and several roads.



In the meantime, we’d like your feedback on the proposed plan for approximately one acre of the northwest corner of this site, where the City of Seattle plans to build an off-leash dog park and walking/biking trail. [link to https://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/projects/georgetown-flume-off-leash-area-development].

The dog park project area is part of the former location of the Georgetown Steam Power Station Canal, which carried water between the power station and the Duwamish Waterway. The channel was removed in 2009 and this area is currently undeveloped, with vegetation, bare earth and gravel. Possible contaminants in soil include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (cPAHs), and metals.

To get the project area ready for use as a dog park and trail, the City of Seattle is proposing to remove the top layer of soil, to a depth of 1 to 2.5 feet, and replace it with fill. own.

We seek your feedback on:

  • Draft Action Work Plan. This work plan describes the cleanup of contaminated soils in the project area.
  • State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Non-significance determination. It is our determination that this work is not likely to harm the environment.

The public comment period will run from November 7 to December 21, 2022. During this period, you may submit comments via an online form or by email to [email protected]

We are also hosting an online public meeting on Wednesday, November 9, starting with a presentation from 6:30-7:30 p.m., followed by a question and answer session. Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Khmer interpreters will be available. Visit our meeting registration page for more details.

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