Community Briefing: Seattle Iron & Metals Settlement

We’ve been fighting for 7 years to see pollution mitigation at Seattle Iron & Metal, an auto recycler on the shores of the Duwamish River.

We became aware of many issues with Seattle Iron and Metals, as it related to air pollution and high levels of PCB chemicals going into the river, where they can cause a host of issues for people and animals.

Timeline leading to last month’s settlement:

  • Pre-2012: Puget Soundkeeper monitoring
  • 2012: Puget Soundkeeper filed lawsuit in U.S. District Court (federal)
  • 2013-2015: Puget Soundkeeper filed permit appeal with Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB); lawsuit stayed
  • 2015: PCHB issued decision (partial win); appeal to WA Court of Appeals
  • 2016: WA Court of Appeals hearing
  • 2017: WA Court of Appeals issued decision (partial win); appeal to WA Supreme Court (oral argument)
  • 2018: WA Supreme Court issued decision; lawsuit stay lifted (litigation); mediation
  • January 2019: Settlement reached

On February 27, 2019 we gathered area residents at a community briefing to explain details and answer questions about the $1 million settlement requiring Seattle Iron & Metals to make changes in response to long-standing concerns with water/air pollution and safety.

Settlement highlights:

– Auto Shredder Residue piles reduced to 12ft
– Infrared fire suppression sprinkler system installed
– Stormwater pipe updates
– Updated traffic routes
– $200,000 in local grants to Soundkeeper’s Stewardship Mitigation fund
– Shredder containment structure built
– Dust containment wind fences installed
– Dust monitoring
– Nearshore debris cleanup
– No mixing zone for PCBs

We’d like to thank Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition for their partnership on this event.