Department of Ecology News Release - November 3, 2014

Meetings focus on cleanup at popular park
Talk with Everett, Ecology staff about work at American Legion Park

EVERETT – Interested in what’s planned for digging up and hauling away contaminated soil at American Legion Memorial Park?

Then join people from the city of Everett and the Washington Department of Ecology at three public meetings to talk about cleaning up park soil contaminated by fallout from the long-closed Everett Smelter near North Broadway and East Marine View Drive.

Contamination from arsenic, lead and other metals was found in 1990 at the former Everett Smelter property near North Broadway and East Marine View Drive. Studies showed that smokestack emissions spread arsenic and lead onto the ground in northeastern Everett. Emissions impacted about 500 private residences, three city parks, and commercial and industrial areas.

The city asked Ecology to clean up American Legion Park, and then got funding from the Washington State Legislature to do the work. The cleanup was first set for fall 2014, but it’s now slated for mid-2015 so the city can talk more with residents about the scope of cleanup work and impacts to the park.

The city and Ecology are seeking public comments about the cleanup from Nov. 6 until Nov. 26. Visit Ecology’s Everett Smelter website to submit comments starting Nov. 6.

Also, come talk with staff from the city and Ecology at public gatherings in Legion Hall at American Legion Memorial Park:

Funding for the cleanup work outside of the parks comes from a $34 million share of the state’s $188 million bankruptcy settlement in 2009 with Asarco Inc., the last owner of the Everett Smelter. Testing and cleanup work is free to property owners. Participation is voluntary.

People who live in the overall cleanup area should follow the soil safety guidelines recommended by Ecology and the Washington State Department of Health to protect themselves and their families from exposure. Swallowing soil is the primary route of exposure. The skin does not readily absorb arsenic.

Guidelines include common hygiene practices of washing hands after playing or working in soil and before eating, leaving shoes at the door, and keeping homes swept and dusted.

People can also call the local information line at 425-446-1024 to speak with an Ecology staff member.

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Contacts:

Meg Bommarito, Ecology project manager, meg.bommarito@ecy.wa.gov, 425-649-7256

Meghan Pembroke, Everett media relations, mpembroke@everettwa.us, 425-257-8687

Seth Preston, Ecology communications, seth.preston@ecy.wa.gov, 360-407-6848, @ecologyWA