Burlington Northern Othello

Facility Site ID: 558 Cleanup Site ID: 1909

Public Comment Period April 18, 2022-May 17, 2022

Draft 5-Year Periodic Review Report

Ecology invites you to review and comment on the fourth periodic review for this site. We complete a periodic review at least every 5 years after cleanup construction is complete at a site when institutional controls are part of the cleanup. The purpose of the review is to evaluate site conditions to ensure people and the environment are protected.

Review the draft report
  • Online: 5-Year Periodic Review Report
  • At Ecology's Eastern Regional Office: 4601 N. Monroe St., Spokane, WA. Please call 509-329-3415 to make an appointment.
Submit comments online, via mail or email by May 17

Ted Uecker, ted.uecker@ecy.wa.gov
N. 4601 Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99205-1265
Online comment form

Next steps

Ecology will review all comments received during the comment period and update the periodic review if needed. If no significant changes are made, the periodic review will become final. If significant changes are made, an additional public comment period will be held. We will hold an online public meeting if 10 or more people request one.

Site Status

Looking at southern portion of site from the Northeast
Looking at southern portion of site from the Northeast
The Burlington Northern Othello site was removed from the Hazardous Sites List in 2003 as part of our first periodic review following cleanup construction in 1997. We verified the cleanup actions were still effective in 2008, 2012, and 2022.

A restrictive covenant is recorded for the site to notify prospective purchasers of the remaining contained soil contamination. Groundwater standards have been met. No further cleanup is required.

Site History

The site was built as a railroad yard in 1908 and was used for refueling steam and electric locomotives and later diesel locomotives. BNSF Railway Company purchased the property in 1980 and continued operations until 1982. Columbia Basin Railroad now uses the property to load grains into railroad cars.

Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) were found in soils and groundwater as a result of locomotive refueling activities. 

Cleanup included capping contaminated soil that could not be removed with asphalt, diverting groundwater around contaminated soil, and filing the restrictive covenant that ensures the integrity of the cleanup action and protects people from exposure.

Site use restrictions called institutional controls are in effect

Institutional controls can be fences, signs, or restrictions on how the property is used. For instance, an institutional control may prohibit installing drinking water wells or disturbing a protective cap that isolates contamination. These restrictions keep the contamination contained and keep people from being exposed to the contamination. The controls are usually listed in environmental covenants recorded with the county.

Periodic reviews are required when institutional controls are required at a site. Ecology conducts reviews to make sure the controls remain effective and the cleanup still protects human health and the environment. We conduct periodic reviews about every five years.

Environmental Covenant

County Recording #: 247302
County Recording Date: 12/3/1997

Covenant Restrictions

  • Prevent the Reuse or Relocation of Site Soil
  • Restrict All Ground Water Extraction/Well Installation
  • Restrict Land Use

Media Restrictions

  • Groundwater
  • Soil
Legal 6
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Burlington Northern Othello Railyard CD Amendment 1 5/5/2000 Consent Decree - Amendment
Burlington Northern Othello Railyard CD First Amended 4/17/2000 Consent Decree - Amendment
Burlington Northern Othello Railyard Restrictive Covenant 12/3/1997 Environmental Covenant; Alternative Mechanism
Burlington Northern Othello Railyard CD 11/10/1997 Consent Decree
Burlington Northern Othello Railyard AO Amendment 1 8/2/1993 Agreed Order Amendment
Burlington Northern Othello Railyard Interim Remedial AO 2/22/1991 Agreed Order
Public Information 6
Technical Reports 3
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Fourth Periodic Review: Burlington Northern Othello 4/13/2022 Periodic Review (5 Year)
Burlington Northern Othello CD dismiss 3/3/2014 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Periodic Review BN Othello Site Sept 2012 9/1/2012 Periodic Review (5 Year)
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

  • Eastern Regional Office
    N 4601 Monroe St
    Spokane, 99205-1265
    Please schedule an appointment to view print documents at this location.

Contaminants 3

Contaminant Type
Surface Water
Metals - Metals Priority Pollutants R R
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum Products-Unspecified R R
Non-Halogenated Organics - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons R R
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.