Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Around the Sound: Wyckoff open house is under way

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

Bainbridge Island residents are showing up at IslandWood to learn about possible cleanup alternatives for the Wyckoff site on the edge of Puget Sound.

The site, on Eagle Harbor, is contaminated with large amounts of creosote compounds produced by historic wood-treating operations. Currently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established a containment remedy that includes containment and water treatment.

Ecology wants to look for other alternatives, given the potential long-term (think hundreds of years) costs of maintaining and occasionally rebuilding that remedy. We also want to see if we can remove more of the material from the site, so there would be less to contain.

Here’s a quick rundown on the alternatives proposed by national experts who participated in an Ecology-led workshop in January:

+ Full on-site treatment of contaminated material, using steam and electrical heat. The full life of the project is estimated between seven and 20 years.

+ Excavate the entire site, use heat to remove contaminants and use the treated material to fill the site. Estimated project life is four to seven years.

+ Excavate the top 30 feet of material, treat it with heat and replace it. Lower-level material would be treated in place with heat. Estimated project life is eight to 19 years.

+ Excavate the top 30 feet, treat it with heat and stabilize the lower-level material by mixing in cement. Estimated project life is four to six years.

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