Thursday, June 19, 2014

Around the Sound: Cleanup poised to start at Budd Inlet site

By Seth Preston, communications manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

The former Reliable Steel manufacturing facility on Olympia's Budd Inlet is almost ready for a partial makeover.

Aerial view of Reliable Steel. (Ecology photo)
We're asking the public to comment on a proposed plan for doing some cleanup work at the site starting in August or September.

What we're planning
The work is going to include digging up and removing contaminated soil, metal debris, and an underground storage tank that's leaking heating oil.

The work will be focused on two parts of the site, making this an "interim" or partial cleanup. More work will need to be done at some future point.

Saving Puget Sound
Boat building, steel fabrication and welding took place at the site starting in 1941. Historical operations left behind environmental contamination, including heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons and other pollutants in soil and groundwater.

Reliable Steel in 1955. (Photo courtesy of Squaxin Island Tribe)
The facility shut down in 2009, and a fire in 2010 badly damaged some of the buildings. Two buildings were torn down in 2011.

Reliable Steel is one of seven sites in and around Budd Inlet being cleaned up under the Puget Sound Initiative. We're also working with the Port of Olympia to study and clean up contaminated sediments in the inlet.

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