THURSDAY: Online meeting to explain proposal for East Waterway cleanup

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a comment period has opened to get feedback on the proposed cleanup plan for the East Waterway, part of the north end of the Duwamish River, and part of the Harbor Island Superfund site. The comment deadline has since been extended until August 11th. But now’s a good time to find out more about the plan, so the EPA is having an online public meeting tomorrow night (Thursday, May 25th), 6 pm. From this one-sheet, here are key points of its proposal:

● Actively cleaning up approximately 121 acres of contaminated sediments, to include:
o Dredging 99 acres (or 63 percent) of the East Waterway Operable Unit;
o Capping 7 acres (this may include dredging to address final elevation needs);
o On-site (or in-situ) treatment of 12 acres under piers and docks using activated carbon or other organic amendments to contain and absorb contaminants; and
o Enhanced natural recovery of 3 acres for a portion of the East Waterway under the West Seattle Bridge/ Spokane Street Bridge corridor.

● Applying monitored natural recovery in 36 acres where there would be no dredging, capping or treatment, to allow natural processes to reduce sediment concentrations.

● Implementing institutional controls including fish advisories, educational outreach, waterway and land use restrictions, and regulated navigational areas to prevent exposure to contamination and protect the integrity of the cleanup.

● Conducting short-term monitoring during and after construction to measure the cleanup’s progress and effectiveness, and until cleanup levels are achieved.

● Conducting Five-Year Reviews to assess whether the cleanup remains protective.

Construction work for this preferred alternative is estimated to take approximately 10 years and cost $290 million. This timeline assumes dredging would stop during salmon migration and tribal fishing seasons.

Here’s the online link for watching and/or participating (more info here). The EPA says no interpretation will be offered at this meeting, but an in-person public meeting with live interpretation in Spanish, Khmer, and Vietnamese is planned Saturday, June 3rd – drop in any time from 11 am to 6 pm at South Seattle College‘s Georgetown Campus (6737 S Corson Ave S, Building C). Here are other ways to comment.

1 Reply to "THURSDAY: Online meeting to explain proposal for East Waterway cleanup"

  • PDavis May 25, 2023 (9:48 am)

    I just signed up to be part of the solution.  Historically the mouth of the Duwamish  river has been brutally abused by highly toxic businesses. Please help support the EPA efforts by learning about this and including yourselves in the comments.  It’s very easy to do.  Please help

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