Washington State Department of Ecology - October 21, 2013

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Cleanup plan proposed for Lora Lake area sites in Burien and SeaTac

BELLEVUE – The Port of Seattle would remove or contain contaminated soil and sediment on port property at the former Lora Lake Apartments in Burien and nearby at Sea-Tac Airport in SeaTac under a proposed legal agreement with the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology).

The port plans to begin cleanup work in 2016, divided into three projects that include these actions:

Ecology seeks public comment through Nov. 25, 2013 on the proposal and related documents:

They are available for public review at:

To comment, write or email David South, Ecology site manager, 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue WA 98008; or david.south@ecy.wa.gov.

The eight-acre property at 15001 Des Moines Memorial Drive housed a barrel-cleaning company in the 1940s and 1950s and an auto-wrecking facility from roughly 1960 to 1981. A 22-building apartment complex was built in 1987.

Pollutants associated with the site’s former activities include petroleum products, dioxin, pentachlorophenol, and other contaminants.

The port acquired the property in 1998 because part of the property was within the runway protection zone required for the Third Runway at the port-owned Sea-Tac Airport. Six buildings that were within the runway protection zone were demolished in 2007.

Environmental samples taken in preparation for that demolition showed higher than expected levels of contaminants from activities at the site prior to the development of the apartment complex. A legal agreement known as an agreed order, issued in 2009 and amended in early 2013, lays out the process under which the port has been conducting an evaluation of the nature and extent of contamination at the site and assessing cleanup options.

The port demolished remaining structures on the property in 2009 because vacant buildings pose public safety hazards from arson, accidental fires and vandalism. The port demolished only above-ground structures, and took measures — under Ecology oversight — not to disturb potentially contaminated soil.

Stormwater from the apartment complex site enters a storm drain line that flows east under Des Moines Way to Lora Lake on airport property. The port tested the lake bottom’s sediments as part of its investigation. In 1982, before the port acquired the lake and surrounding area, sediment dredged from the lake bottom was placed on what is now airport land north of the lake.

A fact sheet on Lora Lake Apartments site and the draft cleanup action plan with additional details is available at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/DocViewer.ashx?did=22703.

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Media Contacts:

 Larry Altose, Ecology, 425-649-7009; larry.altose@ecy.wa.gov; @ecyseattle
 Perry Cooper, Port of Seattle, 206-787-4923; Cooper.P@portseattle.org

For more information:

Lora Lake Apartments website (https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=2008)

Fact sheet (https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/DocViewer.ashx?did=22703)

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