Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More Everett Smelter cleanup work underway this summer, fall

By Meg Bommarito, Everett Smelter Project Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

We're continuing to remove arsenic contaminated soil from north Everett. This year, we're cleaning up two areas -- residential yards north of Broadway and at the American Legion Memorial Park.

Soil in much of northern Everett contains arsenic and lead left behind from air emissions from a smelter that operated in the neighborhood more than 100 years ago. Ecology received $33.9 million in 2009 for cleanup work in Everett as part of a much-larger bankruptcy settlement with ASARCO Inc., the smelter’s last owner.

We're at the park!

Our cleanup at Legion Park starts this summer. Similar to residential cleanup work, we are removing contaminated soil and will replace it with clean soil and new sod. This is the first of three Everett parks slated for cleanup. We’ll do similar work at Wiggums Hollow Park and Viola Oursler Overlook over the next couple of years. Park cleanup is funded by a state legislative appropriation from the 2013-15 biennium budget.

Legion Park’s Arboretum is already closed for cleanup. The entire park will close on Sept. 8.  They will re-open in spring 2016. Meanwhile, dog-walkers and view seekers can still use the overlook throughout construction.

Houses too!

This year our contractor will work at 22 homes north of Broadway along 5th, 6th and 7th streets between Wayne and Waverly. This work is expected to begin in late September and wrap up early in 2016.

Comment period scheduled for this fall

We’re preparing for another cleanup phase that will involve the cleanup site’s eastern industrial area along the Snohomish River. Before developing a cleanup plan for this area, we will ask the public to review and comment on our investigation of the contamination, and study of cleanup alternatives.

Both documents, called the supplemental remedial investigation report and the feasibility study, will be available this fall for a public comment period. Ecology will develop a cleanup action plan after the public comment period.

Want more information?

If you're curious about what happens during cleanup, check out our website.  You can also sign up to receive regular email and mail updates on our website

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