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Toxics Cleanup Program


Everett Smelter Cleanup

Lowland Cleanup  Icono:  Limpieza del Área de las Tierras Baja

We have finalized the Cleanup Action Plan

We finalized the Cleanup Action Plan (CAP) in November 2016 for the Lowland Area, east of East Marine View Drive. We’ll be cleaning up 14 areas in the Lowland. Cleanup methods include soil removal, capping, institutional controls and monitored natural attenuation. The final CAP is available in our online document repository.

Cleanup will be phased

  • We are currently working on the design for the cleanup of area A1. Excavation of contaminated soil will take place in summer and fall 2017.
  • A new groundwater study is in progress to aid in the design of cleanup in area B2.
  • Other cleanup activities will begin once funding becomes available.

Cleanup Action Plan for Lowland Area

Click on map for larger sizeEcology found that arsenic, lead, and mercury are the main contaminants in the Lowland Area. These contaminants exist in soil, shallow and deep groundwater, and in limited areas of the sediment below outfalls along the shoreline. The contamination exceeds limits allowed by the state’s cleanup laws, the Model Toxics Control Act and the Sediment Cleanup Standards and must be addressed. 

The DCAP addresses 14 areas in the Everett Smelter Lowland where contamination needs to be addressed. Ecology plans to use a number of cleanup technologies  to address contamination in the Lowland Area. More than one technology is anticipated to be used at some of the locations. These technologies are described below and the locations for their use are shown on the map.

Removal of contamination is planned for A1 and A2. Contaminated material will be excavated and transported offsite for disposal at an approved facility

Capping of contamination is planned for areas B1-3, C4-5. A natural or synthetic material is installed over contaminated soil to prevent rain water from entering contaminated soil, and reduces the potential for human exposure.

  • New caps will be installed at B1, and B2,
  • Existing caps will be maintained at B3, C5, and C6

A Permeable Reactive Barrier will be installed at B2. The barrier is created by injecting chemicals into the ground. The chemicals form a “wall of treatment” that react with arsenic as it passes through the treatment area. Arsenic is then drawn out of groundwater and into soil where it stays in place.

Institutional Controls will be used at C1-3, C6, and D1-4. These include fences, permit requirements, restrictive covenants, and zoning regulations to minimize the potential for human exposure to contamination. These controls do not physically change the site or reduce contamination levels.

Monitored natural attenuation will be used at areas C1, C6, D1, D2, D3, and D4. The plan is to monitor the water quality of surface water and groundwater to confirm that natural processes are reducing the contamination.

All sites will be monitored after their cleanup actions to confirm that the cleanup remains effective. Ecology prioritizes removal of contamination sources and plans to phase the work as funding allows.

History

During the smelter operation the Lowland Area was an undeveloped flood plain/tide flats area. In 1914 after the closure of the smelter facility, Weyerhaeuser acquired most of the land within the Lowland Area. Over the years, Weyerhaeuser constructed and operated a large wood products manufacturing complex.

When Weyerhaeuser decommissioned its timber industry operations within the Lowland Area in the 1980s and 1990s, it provided a good deal of environmental data.  Ecology oversaw cleanup of contamination from the timber operation on the three former Weyerhaeuser properties that are located within the Everett Smelter Lowland Area:

These cleanups are managed separately. Our Lowland Area cleanup plans only address metals (mainly arsenic and lead) from the smelter.

Using the Asarco settlement funds, Ecology investigated the nature and extent of the of smelter contamination in the Lowland Area and reported it within the Supplemental Remedial Investigation Report. Cleanup alternatives were then developed and evaluated in the Feasibility Study report. Both reports were finalized in February 2016.

Please contact Sandra Matthews, Lowland Site Manager at Sandra.Matthews@ecy.wa.gov or 425-649-7206  if you have questions about this cleanup.

Page last updated March 15, 2017