Thursday, February 7, 2013

Around the Sound: Toxic pilings removed from Budd Inlet

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

If you happen to pass by the southern end of Olympia’s Budd Inlet these days, you probably will see crews removing old pilings from the bay.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and several partners are coordinating the work, as detailed in this story by The Olympian and this DNR news release.

Also, here’s a map showing where the work is happening.
For decades, creosote was used to coat wood pilings for docks and other structures built in and over Puget Sound waters. The creosote protects the pilings (like those shown in the generic photo at right). It’s long-lasting – and that’s the problem.

Many of those structures have deteriorated or fallen into disrepair, but the chemicals from the creosote-treated materials continue to leach into the Sound’s water and sediments and onto its beaches.

DNR has a pilings removal program to address some of these issues.

Ecology also is interested in such removals. We work through the Puget Sound Initiative and with partner agencies like DNR and the Puget Sound Partnership to clean up, protect and restore the Sound. Budd Inlet is one of Ecology’s priority cleanup bays under the Puget Sound Initiative.

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