Washington State Department of Ecology - January 14, 2014


Four south Seattle firms to make joint preparations for Georgetown groundwater cleanup

BELLEVUE – Four businesses will collaborate on preparations to clean up co-mingled groundwater contamination from past releases in south Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, under a proposed legal agreement with the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology).

Ecology seeks public comment on the proposed agreement – called an agreed order –through Feb. 13, 2014. Ecology also seeks comment on a related permit revision at one of the sites through March 17, 2014

An informational meeting about the proposals is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 30, 2014, at the Georgetown campus of South Seattle Community College, 6736 Corson Ave. S.

Four cleanups combined

The four firms have performed pollution studies and interim cleanup work individually on and near their own properties under earlier separate agreements with Ecology. The agreed order would cover similar pollutants that have moved from all four of sites with groundwater flow.

The four parties to the proposed agreed order with Ecology are:

The study area is called “West of 4th.” It is located between Fourth Avenue  South and the Duwamish Waterway on the east and west, and South Lucile Street and Slip 2 of the Waterway to the north and south.

Contaminants include the solvent and hazardous material trichloroethene (TCE), and substances that form as TCE degrades (such as dichloroethenes and vinyl chloride). The area also contains locations with elevated levels of tetrachloroethene (PCE), 1,4-dioxane, and  metals such as nickel. Studies to date show contamination detected as far west as the waterway.

Groundwater is not a source of drinking water in this area.

Under the proposed joint agreed order, the four parties would jointly evaluate cleanup remedies for the contamination, develop specific cleanup proposals, and propose a cleanup action plan. These elements would be subject to public review and formal comment periods prior to adoption by Ecology.

Comment periods

The comment period for the proposed four-party agreed order will last 30 days and conclude on Feb. 13, 2014.

Burlington Environmental’s proposed permit modification will last 60 days, concluding on March 17, 2014.

Comments may be sent to Ed Jones, Ecology site manager, at ed.jones@ecy.wa.gov or to Ecology’s Northwest Regional Office, 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue WA 98008.

To view any of these materials, and additional technical, legal and background information on each site, please visit:

A fact sheet with an overview of the agreed order has been mailed to the local community and is available on-line at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/publications/1304018.pdf.

Helping the Lower Duwamish cleanup

The West of 4th is located near the Lower Duwamish Waterway cleanup, jointly overseen by Ecology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Cleanup of the West of 4th site 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.

Prior cleanups and studies

Each of the parties has conducted individual “interim actions” at or near its facility. Interim actions can include cleanup or other remediation needed before a full investigation or cleanup can occur.

Burlington Environmental ceased operation of its facility in 2003. It operated under an Ecology permit for hazardous waste treatment and storage, issued under state and federal law. The permit must remain in effect until the cleanup is complete. The company has proposed to modify the permit to include the work required under the proposed joint agreed order.

In 2004 Burlington Environmental constructed a subsurface barrier wall of cement-like material around the perimeter of the facility to prevent further migration of hazardous materials in groundwater.  Other work at the site includes soil excavation and soil vapor extraction, implemented as part of the company’s cleanup action plan, approved by Ecology in 2010.

The other three companies completed formal environmental investigations in 2012. They have conducted interim cleanup actions that include:

Installation of systems to protect indoor air quality of on-site or nearby buildings from vapor intrusion. Solvent-contaminated groundwater can release vapors that can pass through soil and enter building through openings or cracks in the foundation. Use of air sparging (injecting air into the groundwater) and vapor extraction systems to reduce levels of solvent chemicals in groundwater.

Art Brass Plating has conducted air sparging and vapor intrusion mitigation. 

Blaser Die Casting excavated a significant volume of contaminated soils from areas below its property and installed a vapor intrusion mitigation system in its building at 3rd Ave. S. and S. Orcas. St. 

Capital Industries installed a vapor intrusion mitigation system in a building directly southwest of its property. 

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Media Contacts:

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

Ed Jones, Ecology Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction Program, 425-649-4449, ed.jones@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

The four websites and one repository listed below are operated by the site owners to provide access to legal and technical documents.

West of 4th: http://aspectconsulting.com/clients/W4

Burlington Environmental (PSC Environmental Services): Georgetown facility repository at ActivSpace – Luna Park Facility (West Seattle), 3400 Harbor Avenue SW, Unit 214, Seattle.  Contact William Beck at 425-227-6149 for an appointment.

Art Brass Plating: http://aspectconsulting.com/clients/artbrass/

Blaser Die Casting: http://pacificgroundwatergroup.com/clients/blaser/

Capital Industries: http://farallonconsulting.com/project/Capital_Industries

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

Ecology fact sheet on the West of 4th cleanup site: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/publications/1304018.pdf

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)