A followup today to Boeing‘s announcement last night that it’s reached an agreement on cleaning up part of the Duwamish River and restoring habitat. Our regional-news partners at the Seattle Times reported on the deal here. This evening, we have reaction on two fronts: First, we asked the advocacy group Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition for its thoughts – here’s what Thea Levkovitz says:
DRCC congratulates Boeing on being the first out of the gate to address not only the cleanup but the restoration of Habitat due to their polluting activities. We certainly hope that other Polluters will follow suit quickly. What the story did not mention is that habitat restoration is a requirement of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)process of the Superfund Law. There are two parts to Superfund. The first is the cleanup and the second is the restoration of habitat.
There is a lot of work to be done on the river including the draft Feasibility Study (cleanup plan) for the entire river in October, 2010. That will be the opportunity for the residents of West Seattle to weigh in and make sure that we get the best cleanup possible.
Also, we just received a King County news release with reaction from County Executive Dow Constantine – click ahead to read it:
Citing the environmental and economic benefits of a cleaner Lower Duwamish Waterway, King County Executive Dow Constantine today applauded plans by The Boeing Company to restore a half-mile of the waterway, create new wetlands and establish a resting area for migratory fish.
“Cleaning up the Lower Duwamish is the right thing to do – an obligation to those who were here before us and those who will come after,” said Executive Constantine, a member of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group. “Cleanup will benefit residents as well as the businesses along the waterway, which generate nearly 100,000 jobs. Boeing’s projects are an important step toward restoring the long-term health of the waterway, and I look forward to continuing to work with them.”
The Boeing cleanup results from obligations under the Natural Resources Damages Assessment (NRDA) process, a process authorized under the federal Superfund law. The process allows the federal government to collect repayment for damage done to the environment from past pollution at a Superfund site.
The cleanup was negotiated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Interior, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Indian tribes. NOAA is administering the NRDA process for the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site for the Department of Commerce.
King County is also engaged in the NRDA process, and is in similar negotiations with NOAA. NOAA addresses NRDA claims in sequence and began negotiations with Boeing ahead of initiating them with King County. King County is working closely with NOAA to meet its obligations under NRDA, and has identified potential sites and has agreed to begin preliminary habitat design work.
King County, led by Executive Constantine, is a member of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group, which was formed in 2001 to help coordinate cleanup efforts in the Lower Duwamish undertaken by the City of Seattle, the Port of Seattle, The Boeing Company, and King County.
“King County has been working for decades to create and restore habitat in the Lower Duwamish,” added Executive Constantine. “By working together to get cleanup underway quickly, we can protect the environmental, maritime and recreational benefits of the waterway for generations to come.”