Settlement with EPA officials requires city workers to remove sediment from toxic hotspot
Seattle officials have agreed to cleanup a polluted area of the Lower Duwamish Waterway after a $33 million settlement between the port, city and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The agreement requires the port and city to implement EPA’s cleanup decision for the Terminal 117 early action area of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site, and is a major milestone that secures the cleanup of marine sediments next to the terminal, the former industrial facility on terminal property and ten acres of soil in nearby streets and residential areas.
“We now have an enforceable agreement in place to clean up one of the most contaminated sites on the waterway,” said EPA Associate Director Lori Cohen. “The city and port stepped up and joined us in a commitment for a cleaner, safer Duwamish River. This translates into benefits for Puget Sound, where cleaning up contaminated marine sediments is a priority.”
Terminal 117 was designated an early action area of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site because of the high level of nearby contaminated sediment in the waterway due to years of industrial activity.
Port and city officials will conduct the Terminal 117 cleanup with EPA oversight. The agreement outlines the obligations for the full cleanup and launches the cleanup design process, which is scheduled to be complete at the end of 2012. After the design is finalized, the port will initiate a bidding process for contractors to complete the work.
Under the agreement, the port and city will submit specific plans for EPA approval for the remaining sediment removal, upland soil removal and cleanup of residential areas that could re-contaminate nearby sediments. In addition, the area’s temporary stormwater system will be replaced by a permanent stormwater collection and treatment system.