Department of Ecology News Release - October 21, 2015

Environmental cleanup complete at International District site in Seattle
Former Metro Transit facility now home to agencies, businesses, clinic and residences

SEATTLE – A two-block site in Seattle’s International District can come off the state’s contaminated sites list because it now meets state standards for protecting public health and the environment, according to the Washington Department of Ecology.

Buildings erected on the property since the mid-1990’s cleanup now house a health clinic, library branch, businesses, residential units and a community center.

King County Metro Transit cleaned up contaminated soil and groundwater at its former facility at 802 S. Dearborn St. The Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority then purchased and redeveloped the property.

“This is a highly satisfying milestone,” said Ecology’s Maura O’Brien, who oversaw the property’s entire cleanup. “Washington’s cleanup process helped transform a contaminated site into one of the keystones of the International District’s overall redevelopment. We couldn’t be more pleased to share this success with Metro and the community.”

Ecology is seeking public comment until Nov. 16 on three proposed steps that would formally close the cleanup process for the site:

The facility had been used by Metro and a previous owner for fueling, parking and maintaining buses. Metro bought the site in 1974. The county agency signed the consent decree with Ecology in 1994. Metro demolished buildings on the site, then removed 12,240 tons of petroleum-contaminated soil and operated a system to treat groundwater and deep soil in 1995-96.

Ecology determined that low contaminant levels remaining in the groundwater required long-term monitoring to confirm that it would dissipate through natural processes. By 2012, data from the monitoring showed that this had been achieved.

Information and documents related to Ecology’s proposals may be found at:

To comment or ask technical questions, please contact Maura O’Brien, Ecology site manager:

Ecology will consider all comments before making a final decision on its proposed actions.

Contacts:

Larry Altose, Ecology communications, 425-649-7009, @EcySeattle

Maura O’Brien, Ecology site manager, 425-649-7249

Gary Kriedt, King County Metro Transit, senior environmental planner, 206-477-5950

Monica Lauw, Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority, communications and development manager, 206-624-8929