Facility Site ID: 787 Cleanup Site ID: 4973

Site Successfully Redeveloped!

Patrons enjoy the Palouse Brewing Company after site cleanup and redevelopment.
Patrons enjoy the Palouse Brewing Company after site cleanup and redevelopment.
Following cleanup, this property in the heart of downtown Palouse sold and is now home to a brewery and veterinary office. You can view photos of the new developments, cleanup, and site history on our Palouse Producers Flickr album and learn more by watching this 2019 interview with former Palouse Mayor Michael Echanove.

This successful brownfield cleanup that was aided by an Ecology Integrated Planning Grant won the Small Community & Impact Phoenix Award at the national Brownfields Conference in 2023. Phoenix Awards recognize extraordinary practitioners and brownfields projects. Sarah Sieloff covered the story in PM magazine's August 2023 issue: "Palouse, Washington: A Small Town Takes Big Action on Brownfields."

Site History

Southern view of property before cleanup.
Southern view of property before cleanup.

The site was used for over a century for commercial activities serving the agricultural industry (service station, blacksmith, welding shop). Many of the past uses could have contributed contamination.

Conoco operated a service station on the site from 1955 to 1977. During its operation, five above-ground storage tanks and four underground storage tanks were installed. 

In 1977, Palouse Producers began operations and used the facility to fuel vehicles and store and distribute bulk fuel until approximately 1985.

Historical documents show the facility was poorly constructed to contain spills and drips from historical operations and that spills occurred on the site. In addition, tanks and piping appear to have leaked. There is also evidence that these releases may have reached the Palouse River through overland flow or groundwater migration.


Past investigations found metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, and associated contaminants at the site. The former service station operated by Conoco and later by Palouse Producers is the likely cause of the environmental impacts to soil and groundwater.


Excavating contaminated soil.
Excavating contaminated soil.
By 1992, all above-ground and underground storage tanks were removed from the site.  From 1984 to 1985, several efforts were made to clean up petroleum that had entered the Palouse River from the site. 
The City of Palouse received an Integrated Planning Grant from Ecology to investigate and clean up remaining contamination. You can learn more on their City of Palouse Brownfield Project website.
In the 2011 Cleanup Action Plan, we selected the following cleanup actions:
  • Installing and monitoring three groundwater monitoring wells
  • Restricting groundwater use at the property and enacting a Soil Management Plan to guide future uses
  • Removing soil with contamination levels above standards set to protect people and environment (soil below these levels remained on-site) 
Periodic reviews

In July 2020, we completed the first periodic review and recommended no further cleanup actions. Groundwater monitoring will continue to track cleanup progress. The property has been purchased and redeveloped. Monitoring well access will be maintained, and the owners are working with us to ensure their business operations protect the cleanup and comply with the environmental covenants.

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 #: 717004
County Recording Date: 4/16/2013


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

Restricted Media

  • Groundwater
  • Soil
Legal 3
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Palouse Producers Environmental Covenant 3/12/2013 Environmental Covenant; Alternative Mechanism
Palouse Producers Prospective Purchaser Consent Decree Exhibits e.g., DCAP, and PPP 11/17/2011 Consent Decree
Palouse Producers Prospective Purchaser Consent Decree 11/17/2011 Consent Decree
Public Information 2
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Responsiveness Summary Prospective Purchaser Consent Decree, DCAP, SEPA 12/21/2011 Responsiveness Summary
Palouse Producers Prospective Purchaser Consent Decree, DCAP, SEPA DNS 11/17/2011 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
State Environmental Policy Act 1
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Palouse Producers SEPA DNS 11/9/2011 SEPA Documents
Technical Reports 2
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Periodic Review: Palouse Producers Site 7/28/2020 Periodic Review (5 Year)
Completion Report - Palouse Producers Property, Remedial Action - Soil Removal 3/27/2013 Final Cleanup Action 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

  • Eastern Regional Office
    N 4601 Monroe St
    Spokane, 99205-1265
    Please schedule an appointment to view print documents at this location.
  • Whitman County Library Palouse Branch
    120 East Main Street
    Palouse, 99161
    This location may only have print documents available during open comment periods.

Contaminants 5

Contaminant Type
Surface Water
Metals - Metals - Other C
Metals - Arsenic C C
Metals - Lead C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Benzene C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum-Gasoline C 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.