Department of Ecology News Release - November 19, 2015

Environmental cleanup proposed for part of South Park Landfill site
Public comments welcome through Jan. 5 on interim work

SEATTLE – The city of Seattle, which owns part of the former South Park Landfill site, plans an interim environmental cleanup project as part of a proposed amendment to a legal agreement with the Washington Department of Ecology.

The city would conduct the interim cleanup work on 11 acres of the 40-acre contaminated site, in preparation for future redevelopment. The city’s property houses a yard and household hazardous waste collection facility operated by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), a city department. The rest of the site is under separate ownership.

Ecology seeks public comment on the amendment, which would modify a 2009 “agreed order” that defines the process for studying the site’s contamination and proposing cleanup options. The planned partial cleanup would be an “interim action” under the state’s toxic site cleanup process.

The overall investigation for a final cleanup, under the 2009 agreed order, would continue.

Under the proposed interim cleanup plan SPU would:

Information available
The agreed order amendment and other information about the South Park Landfill site are available at:

Ecology will accept comments through Jan. 5, 2016. People with comments or questions should send them to Jerome Cruz, Department of Ecology, 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue WA 98008 or For questions by phone, please call 425-649-7094.

Environmental review also up for comment
SPU and Ecology have conducted an environmental review of the proposed interim action, under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). SPU is the lead agency, with Ecology acting as co-lead. They have determined the proposed actions would not have a significant negative impact to the environment. The SEPA Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) and checklist are both available for public comment. These documents and information on submitting comments is available on SPU’s website.

Historical background
The property – in the 8100-8200 blocks of Second Avenue South – is the site of a municipal waste landfill that was operated by the city of Seattle on King County-owned property. The landfill stopped accepting waste in 1966 when Seattle opened its South Transfer and Recycling Station. The landfill site includes the city’s station, property owned by South Park Property Development LLC and part of the Kenyon Business Park.

Historically, an auto-wrecking yard and truck storage facilities have also used parts of the property.

Environmental studies performed at the site have detected groundwater contamination from arsenic, iron, manganese, vinyl chloride, and possibly dichloroethene and benzene. Contaminants of potential concern in soil at the site include arsenic, lead, diesel, and oil. Landfill gas also is present at the site – mostly methane and carbon dioxide.

Cleanup of the South Park Landfill site, located about 1,500 feet from the Lower Duwamish Waterway, contributes to a larger effort to control sources of contamination to sediments in the waterway. Ecology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency jointly oversee the site, which covers approximately five miles of the waterway upstream from Harbor Island.


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

Jerome Cruz, Ecology site manager, 425-649-7094