Enforcement

Case Summary: Terminal 117 Area of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site

On June 10, 2011, EPA entered into an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with the Port of Seattle and the City of Seattle to conduct $33 million worth of cleanup at Terminal 117 of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site.

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Information about the Parties
Terminal 117 Area of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site
Pollutants and Environmental Effects
Summary of the Settlement
Contact Information

Information about the Parties

Early in Washington State history the legislature recognized the value of its waterfront property and enabled communities to establish port districts to manage ports publically. The Port of Seattle, created in 1911, was the first public port in Washington and now the authority manages a host of huge trade, travel and commercial businesses in King County. In addition to managing the seaport, the Port controls the airport, the numerous parks lining Elliot Bay, and plays a large role in developing commerce in the Seattle region.

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Terminal 117 Area of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site

The Terminal 117 "Early Action" area is on the west side of the Lower Duwamish River, about 3.5 miles from the southern tip of Harbor Island near downtown Seattle. Terminal 117 is in Seattle's South Park neighborhood, between 14th Avenue South, Dallas Avenue South, and South Donovan Street. The upland part of the site includes the former Duwamish Manufacturing and Malarkey Asphalt Company location, and other property owned by the Port of Seattle. In 2000, EPA oversaw the Port's removal of some contaminated soil from the property formerly owned by Malarkey Asphalt.

Early Action cleanup areas are parts of a Superfund site that EPA has determined may become a threat to people or the environment before the long-term cleanup for the site is completed. Terminal 117 is one of six early action sites within the Lower Duwamish Waterway site. More information is available on the Terminal 117 "Early Act" area web page.

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Pollutants and Environmental Effects

Asphalt manufacturing by the Port's "Duwamish Manufacturing and Malarkey Asphalt" companies left oil and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in the waterway sediment, on the former asphalting facility uplands, and to a much lesser extent in some neighboring streets and yards. In addition to the PCBs these asphalt manufacturing operations, long-term industrial use of the site has resulted in dangerous levels of other pollutants too, including dioxins/furans, carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or cPAHs, and arsenic. Many of these chemicals stay in the environment for a long time, and have built up to unsafe levels in the river's resident fish and shellfish. Because of this contamination, state and local health departments warn against eating resident crab, shellfish, or bottom-feeding fish (but not salmon, which move quickly through the river) from the Lower Duwamish.

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Summary of the Settlement Agreement

Under the $33 million AOC, the Port and City have agreed to conduct a non-time critical removal action which will remove soil and river sediment to reduce PCBs to levels that will protect the river environment and reduce health risks to people. The site will be clean enough for many possible future uses, including business and residential development, river habitat, and public access. The Port of Seattle and City of Seattle are paying for the cleanup under the AOC. Cleanup design is underway and cleanup work is expected to begin in 2012.

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Contact Information

For more information, contact:

Piper Peterson
EPA Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Sixth Ave., Suite 900, ECL-110
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 553-4951
peterson.piper@epa.gov

David Smith-Watts
Attorney-Advisor
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
(202) 564-4083
smith-watts.david@epa.gov

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