Burlington Environmental LLC Georgetown
734 S Lucile St, Seattle, WA 98108

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD SEPTEMBER 28, 2017-OCTOBER 31, 2017

West of 4th Site

The Department of Ecology (Ecology) invites you to comment on documents to continue cleanup work at the West of 4th Site. They are:

You can also find the documents at the repositories listed in the column to the right.

Two long-term Pilot Studies and one partial cleanup (Interim Action) proposed

The pilot studies will help determine which cleanup options are most effective. These include:

  • Adding chemicals to groundwater to decrease concentrations of chlorinated organic contaminants.  (Also known as in situ chemical reduction and/or enhanced bioremediation)
  • Adding chemicals to groundwater to increase the pH (lower the acidity) in groundwater to decrease concentrations of toxic metals.

The Interim Action will clean up (remediate) soils and shallow groundwater beneath Capitol Industries' Plant 4.  It will add chemicals to groundwater, as well as soils, to decrease concentrations of chlorinated organic contaminants (also known as in situ chemical oxidation.)

Timeline of proposed cleanup actions

  • The pilot studies and interim action will take 12-15 months.
  • Once completed, the West of 4th PLPs will submit reports describing the studies' findings and how effective the interim action has been.
  • The reports will be followed by Feasibility Report (FS) addenda.
  • After reviewing the FS addenda, we will choose our preferred cleanup action and draft a Cleanup Action Plan (CAP) for public review.

Ecology determined cleanup actions will not impact the environment - State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS).

Ecology is the lead agency for SEPA concerns related to the cleanup actions described above. Under SEPA, we are required to identify and evaluation environmental impacts of the proposed work. The draft AO Amendment is primarily needed to continue performing the Feasibility Study.  As part of this work the PLPs will do pilot studies to study several cleanup (remedial) methods. They will also do an Interim Action. Ecology has determined that these activities will not significantly impact the environment (as defined in SEPA). The SEPA DNS is included in this comment period.

What happens after the public comment period?

Once we review your comments, we will:

  • Finalize the draft AO, or modify it prior to finalizing.
  • Notify the PLPs, everyone who wrote comments or requested notice of our decision.
  • Respond to comments in a Responsiveness Summary available to the public.
  • Finalize pilot study and Interim Action work plans.

For more details about the pilot studies and Interim Action, please scroll to the maps and discussion in the CLEANUP section, West of 4th at the bottom of this page.

To view the comment period mailer click here.


2017 in-situ pilot study locations
Please click on the photo for a larger view

WHAT'S NEW?

East of 4th Site - Groundwater contaminated with 1,4 dioxane

Starting in May 2017, contractors working for Stericycle began preparing for studies designed to evaluate two in-situ (below ground) cleanup methods: in-situ bioremediation and in-situ chemical oxidation. Specifically, the studies will determine how effective these two methods may be in reducing levels of 1,4 dioxane found in groundwater under Georgetown. Study locations are show in Figure 1.

In-situ bioremediation Study

  • This two-phase study tests the use of non-native microorganisms that can destroy 1,4 dioxane. This is commonly referred to as "bioaugmentation." During phase 1, Stericycle contractors placed microorganisms into an existing groundwater monitoring well along 6th Ave. South. They monitored the groundwater about a week later and will continue monitoring every three months for 6 months.  If phase 1 is successful, the same type of microorganisms will be injected into the groundwater just east of the 6th Ave. South and South Findlay St. intersection.

In-situ Chemical Oxidation Pilot Study

  • This project tests wax cylinders ("candles") that slowly release two oxidants, persulfate and permanganate, into groundwater. The two oxidizing chemicals can destroy 1,4 dioxane. The candles have been installed and are releasing the oxidants into three new wells 50-60 feet below the ground. Groundwater monitoring will continue every three months for a year. The new wells are located near the intersection f Maynard Ave. South and South Lucile St. A similar study using liquid oxidants was performed nearby in 2016.


SITE BACKGROUND

East of 4th Site

The facility and site have been called “PSC Georgetown” in the past. We use PSC Georgetown here to be consistent with past notices and to avoid confusion. Stericycle Environmental Solutions is the current company and is responsible for doing the cleanup work.

In 1991, Ecology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly issued a permit to Burlington Environmental to treat and store hazardous and dangerous waste at the 734 South Lucile Street property. The permit also included Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action requirements and a schedule for completing them. The permit’s corrective action section was modified in 2001 to update its requirements and schedule.

The PSC Georgetown facility closed as a hazardous and dangerous waste treatment and storage facility in 2003 and the property is not currently being used commercially. However, releases from past operations at the facility have contaminated soils and groundwater. These releases were from spills and from leaking underground storage tanks containing solvent and petroleum wastes.

Washington State’s Dangerous Waste Regulations require a facility that treats, stores, or disposes of dangerous wastes (TSD) to have a permit until all activities, including corrective actions and final closure, are completed. The current permit incorporates two Agreed Orders. The 2010 Agreed Order is for the eastern part of the site and the 2014 Agreed Order is for the western part of the site. The 2014 Agreed Order includes three other companies. Releases from all four companies have contributed to groundwater contamination in the “West of 4th” area.

West of 4th Site

Groundwater contamination from the PSC-Georgetown facility has migrated west. Three companies have also released Chlorinated solvents in this western area:

  • Art Brass Plating (5516 3rd Ave. S.)
  • Blaser Die Casting (5700 3rd Ave. S.)
  • Capital Industries (5801 3rd Ave. S.)

The 2014 West of 4th Agreed Order includes these four companies and requires that they conduct a Feasibility Study.

The site has been divided into two "units" in order to manage the cleanup better. Site Unit 1 is the northern unit. Groundwater contamination in site Unit 1 includes nickel and other plating-related metals.

Glossary of Terms

Many of the cleanup documents can be found in the Ecology View Electronic Documents link on the right of this page.  For access to all of the cleanup documents click here.  


Please click on the photo for a larger view

SITE CONTAMINATION

East of 4th Site

Soils are contaminated on the PSC property and on property to the east and north owned by the Union Pacific Railroad company. Groundwater contamination has been detected below the facility property and down-gradient to the west and southwest, toward the Duwamish Waterway. It is also present on the Union Pacific Railroad property. Because of this soil and groundwater contamination, cleanup requirements continue to be needed in the company’s permit.

Groundwater under the property, east of the property, north of the property, and southwest toward the Duwamish Waterway are contaminated with:

Soils at the property and in areas immediately east and north of the property are contaminated with:

  • Volatile organic compounds (like trichloroethene and petroleum hydrocarbons).
  • Semi-volatile compounds.
  • PCBs.
  • Toxic inorganics (metals).

The former PSC Georgetown facility is a secured property no longer used for commercial purposes. PSC uses the adjacent former White Satin Sugar facility for non-RCRA regulated activities and storage.

West of 4th Site

Soils are contaminated on the Art Brass Plating, Blaser Die Casting and Capital Industries properties west of 4. Ave. Groundwater contamination has been detected below each of the properties and down-gradient to the west and southwest, toward and to the Duwamish Waterway.

Groundwater is contaminated with: 

  • Volatile, solvent-related organic compounds (like tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene and vinyl chloride).
  • Toxic plating-related metals, like nickel (en Español) (near the Art Brass Plating property).
  • 1,4 dioxane, a semi-volatile solvent-related organic compounds (from areas east of 4th Ave.)


CLEANUP - EAST OF 4TH SITE

East of 4th Site

The 2010 PSC Georgetown Agreed Order and Cleanup Action Plan (CAP) describe the cleanup actions the company must implement in the part of its site located east of 4th Ave. Several of these actions have been completed. Cleanup activities have included:

  • 2004: A below-ground barrier wall was constructed. The wall surrounds the facility property and prevents further migration of contaminated groundwater to the west and southwest.
  • 2012: Soils containing PCBs (poly-chlorinated biphenyls) and other hazardous substances were excavated from the Union Pacific property east of the PSC facility. These soils were disposed of in a permitted hazardous waste landfill.
  • 2012-2014: The company operated a Soil Vapor Extraction system to reduce levels of volatile contaminants on its property, as well as the Union Pacific property.
  • 2015: An amendment to the Agreed Order proposes in-situ chemical oxidation to lower 1,4-dioxane levels. The amendment also proposes to follow in-situ chemical oxidation with bioremediation.
  • 2016: A multi-year project to reduce groundwater contamination behind the barrier wall via enhanced bioremediation started. The first ISCO pilot study was also conducted to study the effects of injecting persulfate on levels of 1,4 dioxane.


CLEANUP - WEST OF 4TH SITE

Burlington-Environmental, Art Brass Plating, Blaser Die Casting and Capital Industries have completed remedial investigations in the area west of 4th Ave. S. They have also completed:

  • Interim remedial actions to reduce contaminants at the Art Brass Plating and Blaser Die Casting properties, in source areas for the contamination.
  • Cleanup actions east of 4th Ave. S.
  • Reports and plans required by the 2014 Agreed Order except the draft Cleanup Action Plan.
  • The PLPs are currently conducting a joint Feasibility Study (FS).
  • The West of 4th FS Reports for Site Unit 1 and Site Unit 2 were submitted in 2016.


Ecology agreed that the PLPs could study certain cleanup methods before selecting a final remedy for the site. The methods could be effective in reaching the cleanup objectives but need to be evaluated to see how well they perform in these specific site conditions.


Pilot Study Layout, Near Duwamish Waterway
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CLEANUP - WEST OF 4TH, SITE UNIT 1 PILOT STUDY NEAR DUWAMISH WATERWAY

In this site area groundwater is contaminated with trichloroethene (TCE) and vinyl chloride. The study will be determine if in-situ chemical reduction (ISCR) and/or enhanced in situ bioremediation (ISB) will be effective.


Pilot Study Locations, Art Brass Plating
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CLEANUP - WEST OF 4TH, SITE UNIT 1 PILOT STUDY NEAR ART BRASS PLATING

This is an area where elevated levels of nickel and other metals are present in groundwater. This study will determine the best way to raise groundwater pH, and thereby lower metals concentrations.


Interim Action Injection Points
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CLEANUP - WEST OF 4TH SITE, INTERIM ACTION

This action will focus on an area where groundwater is contaminated with TCE and vinyl chloride, but farther south and east, near 4th Avenue South.  The Site Unit 2 interim action will utilize in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO).


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

Map showing site location as King County, WA SITE INFORMATION

Map

View Electronic Documents

Site Summary Report

Facility Site ID: # 47779679

Cleanup Site ID: 2622

Location:
Seattle, King County

Status: Cleanup Started   Get definitions of Status terminology

Contacts:
Ed Jones
Site Manager
425-649-4449

Thea Levkovitz
Public Involvement Coordinator



Document Repositories:

Northwest Regional Office
3190 160th Ave SE
Bellevue, 98008-5452
(425)649-7190

South Park Branch / Seattle Public Library
8604 Eighth Avenue South
Seattle, 98108
(206)615-1688