Washington State Department of Ecology - May 17, 2013

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On-shore project will assist Duwamish cleanup

BELLEVUE – The Jorgensen Forge Corp. (Jorgensen) site along the Duwamish Waterway in Seattle will undergo a partial environmental cleanup this summer under an amendment to a legal agreement between the company and the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology).

Ecology seeks public comment on an amendment to its 2007 agreed order with Jorgensen. Under that agreement, Jorgensen is investigating whether the company’s 22-acre facility at 8531 East Marginal Way South is an ongoing source of contamination to the waterway’s sediments.

The partial cleanup, called an “interim action,” would remove about 180 cubic yards of soil contaminated with elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), a toxic substance.  Jorgensen would replace the removed soil with clean fill.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will oversee waterway sediment cleanup, planned for this August, next to the Jorgensen Forge site. Construction equipment used in the cleanup will cross a portion of the site where the soil contains elevated levels of PCB. The interim action will reduce contamination at the site and prevent the spread of contaminants during EPA’s cleanup activities. 

The draft amendment is available for public comment at:

Ecology will accept comments on the proposed amendment through June 21, 2013. People may send comments or questions to Maureen Sanchez, site manager, Department of Ecology, 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98008; maureen.sanchez@ecy.wa.gov; 425-649-7257.

Meanwhile, Ecology and Jorgensen are negotiating a proposed new agreed order under which the company will conduct additional studies of soil and groundwater contamination, evaluate cleanup options and propose a cleanup plan for the overall site. Ecology will seek public comment on that proposed agreement at a later date.

The Jorgensen Forge site has housed steel-related industrial operations since the 1940s.  Previous investigations at the site have detected concentrations of PCBs, total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and metals – including arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and nickel – in soil above state cleanup levels in various areas of the property. 

Concentrations of TPH and metals exceeding cleanup levels have also been detected in groundwater at the Jorgensen Forge site. 

Cleanup of the Jorgensen Forge site, located along the Lower Duwamish Waterway, contributes to a larger effort to control sources of contamination to sediments in the waterway.  Ecology and EPA jointly oversee the Lower Duwamish Waterway cleanup site, approximately five miles of waterway upstream from Harbor Island. EPA oversees in-river sediment clean-up projects and Ecology manages source-control efforts to prevent or limit recontamination. 

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Media contact:

Larry Altose, Ecology news media relations, 425-649-7009, larry.altose@ecy.wa.gov

Maureen Sanchez, Ecology site manager, 425-649-7257, maureen.sanchez@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

Jorgensen Forge Corp. site (https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=3689)

Lower Duwamish Waterway cleanup (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/sites_brochure/lower_duwamish/lower_duwamish_hp.html)

Ecology's social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)