Friday, August 19, 2011

Work Underway at B&L Woodwaste Cleanup Site

Diana Smith, Public Involvement Coordinator

Now that dry summer weather is here, more cleanup work is underway at the old B&L Woodwaste landfill in Pierce County near Fife and Milton.

Woodwaste contaminated with arsenic-tainted slag from the Tacoma ASARCO smelter was dumped in the landfill in the 1970s and 1980s. Arsenic has been found in soil, groundwater and ditches around the landfill and neighboring wetland. Ecology is overseeing cleanup by the B&L Custodial Trust (trust).

Over the next several weeks, the trust’s contractors will be building a system to remove contaminated groundwater from the landfill and wetland. Work in the wetlands across from the landfill will start in September. Area residents and people who use Interurban Trail between Fife Way and I-5 will see workers drilling wells, digging trenches and installing pipes and wires in the trenches.

As part of this work, the trust will need to close Interurban Trail for a day in the next few weeks. We’ll post more information when we have the closure date.

The wells and pipes will carry the pumped groundwater to a new treatment system that will remove contamination from the water. In July, the trust started preparing the construction site for the treatment system. The building and treatment system will be constructed this fall.

For more information about this site, visit the B&L Woodwaste webpage and read our fact sheet.

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