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Higher PCB concentrations found at Duwamish Superfund Site's Terminal 117 in Seattle, Washington

Release Date: 03/20/2006
Contact Information: Contact: Ravi Sanga EPA/Seattle 206-553-4092, Mark MacIntyre/EPA Seattle 206-553-7302,

(Seattle, WA - March 20, 2006) Soil sampling at Terminal 117 – a former asphalt production facility on the Duwamish Waterway in Seattle – has revealed higher concentrations of PCBs than previously discovered. Because the contaminated soil is under pavement, there is no opportunity for people to come into contact with it.

The sampling by the Port of Seattle is part of an ongoing cleanup of the area, conducted by the Port under the direction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The industrial site is one of four “early action” areas where cleanup is being conducted by the Port and other agencies, under EPA oversight.

PCBs – or Polychlorinated Biphenyls – have been found to be harmful to the health of people and animals. Two of the new samples show concentrations of PCBs higher than previously discovered on the property. The highest at 9200 parts per million, is six times higher than shown in previous sampling. The highest levels of PCBs were found in a small area near the Dallas Avenue entrance gate.

According to Dan Opalski, Director of EPA’s regional Environmental Cleanup Office in Seattle, these results will help guide cleanup decisions that will be made with community needs and insights in mind.

“We are pleased with the Port’s partnership approach,” said EPA’s Opalski. “We feel confident that by conducting a thorough, scientifically sound investigation and working with the citizens of South Park to design an appropriately protective cleanup plan, we can restore this area and make another step forward in healing the Duwamish River corridor.”

EPA and the Port are using the soil PCB data to prepare a draft cleanup plan that they expect to share with the community in the Spring. EPA plans to hold a public meeting to get the community's input on the cleanup plan, prior to making a cleanup decision.

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