EPA seeks public comment on sediment cleanup options for boeing plant 2, one of duwamish river corridor’s most contaminated sites


EPA wants to know what the public thinks about its plans to clean up the bed and banks of a part of the Duwamish River corridor known as “Boeing Plant 2,” approximately two miles upstream of the West Seattle Bridge. The cleanup options offered would either remove (excavate) the sediments and then backfill with clean material, or place a thick cap to isolate the contamination.

Under EPA’s recommended alternative, roughly 200,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments will be removed -- down to a depth of 20 feet below the surface – along with PCBs, metals, phthalates and cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (cPAH). Boeing will conduct the cleanup under EPA oversight.

According to Agency officials, Plant 2 sediments have among the largest volumes of PCBs in the Lower Duwamish Waterway. The PCB-laden sediments slated for clean up cover 15 acres along nearly a mile long stretch of the River. Cleanup options for the Plant 2 “upland” areas (the rest of the Plant 2 site) are expected to be issued in 2012.

Addressing Health Risks

The biggest health risk from Lower Duwamish Waterway sediments is faced by people who eat fish, shellfish, and crabs that live on or near the Duwamish river bottom all year. The fish, shellfish, and crabs are not safe to eat because they collect contaminants from the sediment in their bodies. Since salmon do not spend as much time in the Duwamish, they are safer to eat. (learn more at www.doh.wa.gov)

EPA’s target cleanup levels for Boeing Plant 2 sediments are designed to protect tribal fishers and other sensitive populations. For toxic chemicals like PCBs that move up through the food chain, the target cleanup level at Plant 2 is based on calculations of health risks from eating fish and shellfish.

The Boeing Plant 2 cleanup is one of three early sediment cleanup actions that EPA hopes to complete over the next few years, which will address some of the most contaminated hot spot areas in the Duwamish. EPA plans to follow up with a proposal to address the rest of the contamination in the Lower Duwamish Waterway in 2012.

Public Meeting Held in South Park, April 27

A public meeting & “Open House” will be held on April 27, 2011, at the South Park Community Center (8319 8th Avenue South). The Open House will begin at 6:00 p.m., followed by the presentation at 7:00 p.m. Public Comments will be taken beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Those unable to attend the meeting may send comments* to:
Shawn Blocker
U.S. EPA, Region 10
1200 6th Avenue
Suite 900, AWT-121
Seattle, Washington 98101

All comments must be received by Saturday, May 28

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