Washington State Department of Ecology - February 10, 2014

14-016

Seeking comment on cleanup options for soil and groundwater contamination near Spokane River

SPOKANE – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking comments on two reports. One describes the extent of soil and groundwater contamination at the Holcim Inc. property along the Spokane River in Spokane Valley. The second evaluates cleanup options for the site.

Based on current knowledge there is not an immediate threat to human health or the environment. However, because of the complex nature of groundwater, proximity of the site to the river, and location of drinking water wells, Ecology required the parties responsible to investigate the contamination and evaluate cleanup options.

Holcim and its predecessor companies operated a cement manufacturing plant at the site until 1967. Cement kiln dust, a byproduct of cement manufacturing, was landfilled on the northern portion of the site before Washington state laws for dangerous waste prevented that practice.

Cement kiln dust has a high pH and is considered caustic. Some of the dust tested also contained arsenic and lead at levels higher than state cleanup standards.

Adjacent properties owned by the City of Spokane Valley and the Neighborhood Inc. Coyote Rock Development are included in both reports. Photos and a map of the Holcim site are available on Flickr.

Ecology will host a public meeting at Thursday, Feb. 13, at CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Room 213, to explain the study and cleanup options. Staff will be available at 6:30 p.m. for informal conversations. Presentations begin at 7:00 p.m.

The documents are available at Ecology’s office at 4601 N. Monroe St. in Spokane. Call Kari Johnson at 509-329-3415 for an appointment. They also are available at Spokane County’s Public Library Argonne Branch and online at: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=4580

Send comments by Feb. 28, 2014, to: mail Jeremy Schmidt, WA Department of Ecology, 4601 N. Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99205-1295; call 509-329-3412; email jeremy.schmidt@ecy.wa.gov.

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Media Contacts:

Brook Beeler, communication manager, 509-329-3478, brook.beeler@ecy.wa.gov, @ecyspokane

For more information:

Project website (https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=4580)

Blog about pH: (http://ecologywa.blogspot.com/2014/02/lets-talk-science-ph-solution.html)