The Lower Duwamish Waterway play many essential roles, supporting commerce and employment, meeting commercial and tribal fishing needs, and providing for critical estuarine environments for salmon and wildlife. The Duwamish industrial area is a crucial jobs base for the region, employing more than 80,000 people. The Lower Duwamish Waterway plays an essential role in supporting commercial navigation, employment, and commerce that invigorates our economy.
Since 2000, the Port of Seattle has been a partner of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group in working on the environmental cleanup of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site. The partners include: City of Seattle, King County, and the Boeing Company.
The partners are working under a voluntary agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) to conduct a coordinated investigation to assess the risks from contaminated sediments in the Lower Duwamish Waterway, to summarize what is known about the sources of chemical contaminants, and to derive solutions to reduce exposure to these chemicals to meet remedial action objectives.
LDWG’s goals are to protect public health, improve water quality, and restore vital areas of the river environment while making sure the Lower Duwamish Waterway remains a vibrant urban working waterway. To date, LDWG partners have invested over $40 million dollars for this effort.
Currently, planning for cleanup of the overall river is proceeding in parallel with the early actions, including the cleanup of Terminal 117. Based on information on contamination and risk contained in the RI, the LDW FS has been prepared. The FS examines different methods and alternative plans to clean up the contamination and reduce risk. A Draft Final FS was released in October 2010 and is being revised based on input from EPA and Ecology. The final FS is expected to be completed in early 2012. EPA and Ecology will develop a Proposed Plan/Cleanup Action Plan for public review early in 2012. When decisions are made on how to clean up the LDW, the agencies will issue a Record of Decision to direct cleanup actions and long-term monitoring.
Lower Duwamish River Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study
Objective: A study of the extent of contamination in the river and the risks to humans
Oversight: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Washington State Department of Ecology.
This report provides the results of a nine-year investigation into the waterway' health. The investigation includes extensive studies on contaminant concentrations in sediments, water, fish and shellfish, and sediment movement. It also estimates the risk to humans and wildlife from the contaminants.
Data collected in the Remedial Investigation are used in the development of remedial alternatives. Those alternatives will be presented in the Feasibility Study which is under development. A draft of the Feasibility Study was made available for public review and comment in October 2010. Upon finalization of the Feasibility Study, EPA and the Department of Ecology will write a Proposed Plan for the cleanup of the Duwamish. The agencies provided the public opportunities to comment on the Proposed Plan, as well as the final Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study.