Friday, November 18, 2011

Cleaning Up: Celebrating in Skykomish

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

The town of Skykomish has gone through an amazing transformation in the past five years. Today (Friday, Nov. 18, 2011), the town’s residents and others will celebrate an historic pollution cleanup and their plans for the future.

A railway maintenance and fueling facility operated in Skykomish — located along Stevens Pass — from the early 20th century until 1974. Over the decades, bunker-C and diesel fuel oil were discharged to the environment in the rail yard.

The oil then flowed downward to the water table and under the town to the South Fork of the Skykomish River. The multi-year cleanup removed oil from underneath Skykomish, and heavy metals contamination in certain areas.

The town, its residents, Ecology, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway teamed up to relocate buildings, clean up large amounts of contamination, and restore and improve the town’s infrastructure and buildings.

You can read more about the project in this Ecology news release. Also, this website focuses on the cleanup.

In other news, the Port of Skagit is working on a taxiway cleanup at the Skagit Regional Airport west of Burlington.

Here’s a brief, recent Skagit Valley Herald article on the Taxiway F work, plus the port’s news release on the project. And here’s the Ecology webpage for the site.

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