Port of Seattle N Terminal 115

Facility Site ID: 2177 Cleanup Site ID: 1229

Current Status

Map data @ 2019 Google
Map data @ 2019 Google

In 2011, Ecology entered into a legal agreement called an Agreed Order with the Port of Seattle (the Potentially Liable Person or PLP) to begin working on the cleanup at Terminal 115 North.

The Agreed Order describes the work that the PLP agrees to perform on the site. The purpose of this work is to protect human health and the environment. It ensures that the cleanup happens in a timely manner and according to Washington State’s cleanup law, the Model Toxics Control Act.

The Order requires the Port of Seattle to complete the following:

  • Remedial Investigation (RI). The purpose of the RI is to define the nature and extent of contamination at the site and to determine if it is contributing to the sediment contamination in the Lower Duwamish Waterway. During the RI, the Port will collect data necessary to adequately characterize the contamination in soil, groundwater, stormwater, and sediments. 
  • Feasibility Study (FS).  The FS will use the results of the RI to evaluate and choose measures to cleanup contamination and prevent recontamination of the sediment. 
  • Draft Cleanup Action Plan (DCAP). Ecology will identify a preferred cleanup action based on the results of the FS.

The Port of Seattle is preparing a Draft RI. The next opportunity for public comment will be after the Draft RI and FS Reports have been reviewed by Ecology.

Why this cleanup matters

This site is part of Ecology’s Lower Duwamish Waterway source control efforts, because it is located near the Lower Duwamish Waterway (LDW) Superfund Site. The 5-mile stretch of the Duwamish River that flows north into Elliot Bay was added to the Superfund National Priorities List by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2001.

The sediments (mud) in the river contain a wide range of contaminants due to decades of industrial activity and runoff from urban areas. EPA is leading efforts to clean up the river sediments.

Ecology is leading efforts to control sources of contamination from the surrounding land area. The long-term goal is to minimize recontamination of the river sediment and restore water quality in the river. 
The Terminal 115 North Site is one of several sites that will be cleaned up as part of Ecology’s Source Control Strategy – controlling sources of pollution to the river. Contaminants in the soil and groundwater around the river pose a risk to human health and the environment. They can also find their way into the river through storm runoff and other pathways. For more information, visit our Source Control page.

Site Information

Approximate site boundary is in red. Click on image to enlarge it.
Approximate site boundary is in red. Click on image to enlarge it.
Site location

The Terminal 115 North site is located in an industrial area on the west bank of the Lower Duwamish Waterway.  It is bordered to the north by Glacier Northwest, Inc., to the east by the Lower Duwamish Waterway, to the south by the main portion of Terminal 115, and to the west by West Marginal Way SW (see figure).

The Lower Duwamish Waterway drainage basin is divided into source control areas. This site is located within the Terminal 115 source control area (river mile 1.6-2.1) along the west bank of the river.

Site history

The Port of Seattle purchased the property in 1969 and currently leases it to two tenants: Gene Summy Lumber Company, a lumber distributor, and Transportation Agent Grid, LLP for vehicle storage. Past operations at this site include tin reclamation facilities operated by Metals Recycling, Inc. and MST Chemicals.


Contamination at this site is due to past industrial activities including tin reclamation and fill placed from off-site sources.  Contamination is found in the soil, groundwater, and stormwater solids at this site.

The potential contaminants of concern in the soil are:

•Metals, including copper, lead, arsenic, mercury, zinc
•Carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons (cPAHs)

The contaminants of concern in the groundwater are:

•Metals including arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc
•Semi-volatile compounds (SVOCs)
•Carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons (cPAHs)
•Lube oil range hydrocarbons

The contaminants of concern in the stormwater solids are:

•Metals, including zinc

Previous cleanup work

In 1997, the Seattle–King County Department of Public Health conducted a Site Hazard Assessment (SHA) and found several metals including barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, zinc and tin in the soil at the site.    

The Port has conducted multiple site investigations since 1991.  In 2009, the Port sampled the soil, groundwater, and storm drain solids, and found contaminants of concern in all three. Soil, ground water, and storm water solids were sampled in 2013-2014 to support the RI.

General Cleanup Process

The Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA; Chapter 70.105D RCW is Washington’s environmental cleanup law). It provides requirements for contaminated site cleanup and sets standards that protect human health and the environment. Ecology enacts the MTCA and oversees cleanups. The MTCA site cleanup process is completed in steps (see graphic below) over a variable timeline.
Legal 1
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Port of Seattle N Terminal 115 Agreed Order 3/2/2011 Agreed Order
Public Information 2
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Port of Seattle N Terminal 115 Public Participation Plan 3/2/2011 Public Participation Plan
Port of Seattle N Terminal 115 Fact Sheet AO Ready for Public review 3/2/2011 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Technical Reports 4
Document Title Document Date Document Type
RI/FS Work Plan Phase I approval letter 8/6/2013 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Work Plan RI/FS Port of Seattle North Terminal 115 5/9/2013 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
Terminal 115 Plant 1 - Environmental Conditions Report 4/6/2011 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Port of Seattle N Terminal 115 Site Hazard Assessment 2/1/1998 Site Hazard Assessment Report
There may be more documents related to this site. To obtain documents not available electronically, you will need to make a public records request.

Places to see print documents

  • Northwest Regional Office
    15700 Dayton Ave N
    Shoreline, 98133
    Please schedule an appointment to view print documents at this location.
  • South Park Branch / Seattle Public Library
    8604 Eighth Avenue South
    Seattle, 98108
    This location may only have print documents available during open comment periods.

Contaminants 9

Contaminant Type
Surface Water
Metals - Metals Priority Pollutants C C
Halogenated Organics - Polychlorinated biPhenyls (PCB) C
Halogenated Organics - Dioxins/Furans S
Non-Halogenated Organics - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Benzene C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Other Non-Halogenated Organics C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum-Diesel C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum-Gasoline S C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum-Other C
Confirmed Above Cleanup Levels
Below Cleanup Levels
This contaminant list was based on our best information at the time it was entered. It may not reflect current conditions at the site.