Washington State Department of Ecology - December 17, 2013

13-307

Cleanup plan proposed for contaminated Georgetown site

BELLEVUE – The General Electric Company (GE) will chemically treat contaminated groundwater beneath and near the company’s former location in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood under a proposed legal agreement.

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) seeks public comment through Jan. 16, 2014, on whether to approve:

GE produced and serviced aircraft parts during most of the years it occupied the building at 220 S. Dawson St. between 1949 and 1996. Other tenants have since occupied the building, using it for various warehousing operations.

During GE’s occupancy, solvent spills and leaks contaminated underlying soil and groundwater. The main contaminants include solvents used to clean metal parts, as well as fuels and oils.

The contaminants have migrated in the groundwater to the west at least as far as Utah Avenue South. Some of the solvent in the soils and groundwater below the building changed to a gas and moved upward through the soil, into the building workspaces.

Under a 2007 agreed order with Ecology, GE installed a system to protect occupants of the building from these vapors. The system pulls contaminated vapors from under the building so that they do not enter, and redirects them to a roof vent. Outdoors, the vapors quickly dissipate to acceptable levels. The draft cleanup action plan incorporates this system, which GE will operate as long as needed.

GE will use a water-based chemical to destroy the contaminants in the groundwater and surrounding soils, leaving behind simpler, safe compounds. The cleanup measures will protect human health and the environment.

Information about the cleanup proposal, including all of the documents posted for public comment are available at:

Comments should be sent to site manager Dean Yasuda at:

For questions about the site and cleanup proposal, use the above addresses or call 425-649-7264.

The GE Georgetown site is located near the Lower Duwamish Waterway cleanup, jointly overseen by Ecology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Cleanup of the former GE facility will contribute to a larger effort to control sources of contamination in the Duwamish Valley.    

For more information about the overall Lower Duwamish Waterway cleanup, please see: www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/sites_brochure/lower_duwamish/lower_duwamish_hp.html.

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Media Contacts:

Larry Altose, 425-649-7009, larry.altose@ecy.wa.gov

Dean Yasuda, Ecology cleanup site manager, 425-649-7264, dean.yasuda@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

Ecology’s Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction Program, current cleanup sites (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/hwtr/foia/index.html)

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/socialmedia.html)