Department of Ecology News Release - September 18, 2014

Soil sampling starts in American Legion Park
Resource review will identify items of cultural significance to tribes

EVERETT – Neighbors and visitors to American Legion Memorial Park will see a small crew using shovels to dig up small samples of soil in the park for the next couple of weeks.

The sampling is part of a cultural resource assessment, which is required before the Washington Department of Ecology starts cleaning up park soil contaminated by fallout from the long-closed Everett Smelter near North Broadway and East Marine View Drive. Ecology is coordinating the assessment with the city of Everett and the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

The assessment will help determine if any items of cultural significance to area tribes could be uncovered during future cleanup work.  

Ecology is working with the city to put a plan together for park cleanup in late summer 2015, after this year’s planned work was delayed. As part of a revised plan, city officials will ask for community feedback on options for cleanup. The effort will include public meetings and presentations at community gatherings this fall and winter.

Sampling crews will be in the park at 145 Alverson Blvd. for up to two weeks. The park and ballfields will be open during that time. However, the public is asked not to move flags or markers used during sampling.

Ecology will use the sampling information to put together a report that summarizes findings and outlines possible steps that could be taken to safeguard any items of cultural significance to tribes. The report will be shared with area tribes before park cleanup starts.

Area residents interested in Everett Smelter cleanup work can call the local information line at 425-446-1024 to speak with an Ecology staff member. More information about the park project also is available on Ecology’s website.

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Contact:

Meg Bommarito, Ecology project manager for the Everett Smelter cleanup, 425-649-7256

Meghan Pembroke, Everett media relations, 425-257-8687

Bob Warren, regional section manager for Ecology’s Toxics Cleanup Program, 425-649-7054

Seth Preston, Ecology communications, 360-407-6848, @ecologyWA