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Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed cleanup plan for the East Waterway Operable Unit of the Harbor Island Superfund site. Puget Soundkeeper has monitored activity on this project, working with the Duwamish River Community Coalition and other partners in the community who are most affected by legacy contamination, and helping to generate dialogue with the EPA about the cleanup and community impact. We will continue to advocate for the restoration of the waterway and its ecosystems, and the communities that rely upon it.

Here are the key takeaways from the EPA’s proposal:

The “Preferred Alternative” addresses the entire 157 acres of the East Waterway Operable Unit (EW OU) and includes the following elements:

Approximately 121 acres of active cleanup of contaminated sediments, consisting of:

  • Dredging 99 acres in open water portions of the EW OU (approximately 960,000 cubic yards of sediment would be dredged and disposed in an off-site landfill).
  • Capping seven acres (may include dredging to accommodate elevation needs).
  • In situ (on-site) treatment on 12 acres under docks and piers using activated carbon or other organic contaminant-sequestering agents.
  • Enhanced natural recovery in three acres under the West Seattle Bridge/Spokane Street Bridge corridor where there is limited access for barge-mounted dredges.
  • Monitored natural recovery in 36 acres where there will be no dredging or capping, and institutional controls to prevent exposure and protect the integrity of the remedy.

Stay tuned for Soundkeeper’s review of the proposal and ways for you to get more involved.

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