Burlington Environmental LLC Georgetown
734 S Lucile St, Seattle, WA 98108

Site Map
Please click on the photo for a larger view

SITE BACKGROUND

Last updated, May 2019

This cleanup site and the name on this website is Burlington Environmental. Burlington Environmental is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PSC Environmental Services, LLC, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stericycle Environmental Solutions, Inc.  We often refer to the site and facility as “PSC-Georgetown” because it is the name most familiar to the local community.

Ecology divided this cleanup in Georgetown into two separate cleanup sites with individual legal agreements. We call them East of 4th and West of 4th.  Soil and groundwater are contaminated at both sites.

East of 4th: The area East of 4th contains groundwater and soil contaminated with chemicals from the PSC-Georgetown facility located at 734 S. Lucile St.  Stericycle is responsible for cleaning up this site.
 

East of 4th: The area East of 4th contains groundwater and soil contaminated with chemicals from the PSC-Georgetown facility located at 734 S. Lucile St.  Stericycle is responsible for cleaning up this site. 

View cleanup documents for East of 4th.

West of 4th: Contaminated groundwater migrated from the Stericycle facility to areas west of 4th Avenue S., and mingled with contamination from three other companies: Art Brass Plating, Blaser Die Casting and Capital Industries.  These three companies together with Stericycle are jointly responsible for cleaning up this site.  The four companies are referred to as “Potentially Liable Persons,” or “PLPs,” under state law (the Model Toxics Control Act).

Ecology divided the West of 4th cleanup in Georgetown into two units. We call them Site Unit 1 and Site Unit 2.  Site Unit 1 is the more northern unit.  Soil and groundwater are contaminated in both site units

View comprehensive list cleanup documents for West of 4th.


WHY THIS CLEANUP MATTERS

Why this cleanup matters

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added the 5-mile stretch of the Duwamish River that flows north into Elliot Bay to the Superfund National Priorities List in 2001. The Boeing Developmental Center is one of the sites to be cleaned up there under the EPA's Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Contaminants in the soil and groundwater around the river pose a risk to human health and the environment. These contaminants can find their way into the river through storm runoff and other pathways.

This site is part of Ecology’s Lower Duwamish Waterway source control efforts because the site has the potential to contribute pollution to the Lower Duwamish Waterway (LDW) Superfund Site.  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. We are leading efforts to control sources of contamination from the surrounding land. The long-term goal is to avoid recontamination of the river bottom and restore water quality in the river.


CURRENT STATUS, WEST OF 4TH



The responsible parties are testing different cleanup techniques prior to selecting a final remedy for the site.

Ecology reviewed and approved work plans for the next steps in the cleanup in January, 2018. The work plans included two Feasibility Study (FS) pilot studies and an Interim Action.

Site Unit 1 Pilot Studies update:

Metals Immobilization Pilot Study, Unit 1:

2018
The responsible parties installed new wells and collected soil and groundwater samples.
They completed the "bench-scale" portion of the study.
They injected a chemical substance sodium bicarbonate into groundwater to raise its pH,
and started monitoring to determine how high the pH could be increased and for how long.

See:  In Situ Metals Immobilization Field Implementation Work, Plan, Site Unit 1, Revised (August 2018)

​This year (2019) 
The responsible parties are continuing to monitor groundwater.  
The 2018 injections raised the groundwater pH, but not as high as hoped. So the responsible parties are now conducting another bench-scale study to find out if different chemicals or concentrations could more effective.  A work plan describing this study and proposals for a second injection is due to Ecology at the end of May.

CVOC (chlorinated volatile organic compound) Pilot Study, Site Unit 1:

2018:
The responsible parties installed groundwater wells and collected samples.
They injected chemicals into groundwater to reduce levels of trichloroethene (TCE) and vinyl chloride.
They started groundwater monitoring to determine if the treatment was working.

This year (2019):
The responsible parties are continuing to monitor groundwater and evaluate treatment effectiveness.

Site Unite 2 update:

2018:
The responsible parties designed an interim action using in situ (in place) chemical oxidation (ISCO) to treat soil contamination below Capital Industries’ Plant 4. 
(See: Draft Industries Plant 4 Interim Action Field Implementation Work Plan Cover Letter.)
They injected an oxidant into the soils below a portion of Plant 4.  This was considered the first stage of the action.
Sampling and monitoring results after the first stage injections indicated that oxidant was poorly and unpredictably distributed (See: Draft Capital Industries Plant 4 Interim Action - Stage 1 In-Situ Chemical Oxidation Report.)  As a consequence, Ecology and the companies decided not to proceed further with ISCO injections. 

This year (2019):
The responsible parties intend to study the feasibility of using soil vapor extraction (SVE) to treat Plant 4’s contaminated soils. 
A work plan for an SVE study was submitted to Ecology for review on April 5 and approved on May 10. (See: Draft Capital Industries Plant 4 Interim Action - Soil Vapor Extraction Pilot Study Work Plan.)
The responsible parties will perform the SVE study this summer.

What Happens Next?

  • The responsible parties complete the Pilot Studies and Interim Action by the end of 2019. They submit results to Ecology for review.
  • They prepares the Feasibility Study (FS) Report Addendum (Addendum) containing alternatives for cleaning up the site. 
  • Ecology will review the Addendum.
  • Ecology will chose a preferred cleanup action and draft a Cleanup Action Plan (CAP) for public review.
  • Ecology will finalize the CAP after Public Comment.


CLEANUP - WEST OF 4TH SITE

The four West of 4th PLPs are conducting a joint Feasibility Study (FS). As part of the FS, the PLPs are studying potential cleanup methods to see if they will work in the specific conditions to this site.  The first work plans for the two pilot studies were approved in January 2018. The studies are described below:


Pilot Study Layout, Near Duwamish Waterway
Please click on the photo for a larger view

CLEANUP - WEST OF 4TH, SITE UNIT 1 PILOT STUDY NEAR DUWAMISH WATERWAY

In this site area groundwater is contaminated with trichloroethene (TCE) and vinyl chloride. The study will be determine if in-situ chemical reduction (ISCR) and/or enhanced in situ bioremediation (ISB) will be effective.


Pilot Study Locations, Art Brass Plating
Please click on the photo for a larger view

CLEANUP - WEST OF 4TH, SITE UNIT 1 PILOT STUDY NEAR ART BRASS PLATING

This is an area where elevated levels of nickel and other metals are present in groundwater. This study will determine the best way to raise groundwater pH, and thereby lower metals concentrations


Interim Action Injection Points
Please click on the photo for a larger view

CLEANUP - WEST OF 4TH SITE, INTERIM ACTION

The Site Unit 2 interim action (early cleanup action) was initially designed to utilize in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) to cleanup soils and groundwater contaminated with TCE and tetrachloroethene (PCE) in an area near 4th Avenue South.   However, injections of oxidant at several locations below Plant 4 last year were not as effective as hoped.  Under Ecology’s direction, the responsible parties will next conduct a study in one area below Plant 4 to determine if soil vapor extraction (SVE) could be more effective.   If SVE performs well, it may be used to remediate contaminated soils throughout the Plant 4 area.


CURRENT STATUS, EAST OF 4TH

Stericycle is finalizing plans to clean up groundwater contaminated with 1,4 dioxane.

In April 2019 Stericycle submitted a draft work plan to clean up groundwater using ISCO. The work plan includes proposals for injecting oxidant into two areas where groundwater concentrations of 1,4-dioxane are elevated.  (See: Stericycle - GT Technical Memorandum - Full Scale ISCO Work Plan.)Ecology reviewed the work plan and sent comments to Stericycle.  A revised work plan is due in early July.

In April 2019 Ecology approved an environmental covenant restricting certain activities within a portion of Union Pacific Railroad’s Argo Yard property. This portion of Argo Yard, immediately east and north of the Burlington Environmental facility, was used by Burlington Environmental in the past and became contaminated.  Although the area covered by the covenant has now been cleaned up, residual contamination remains and property use restrictions are needed to protect human health and the environment over the long-term.  Restrictions include prohibitions against drinking groundwater and developing the area for residential use. (See: Environmental Covenant.)

What Happens Next?

Stericycle will implement the 1,4-dioxane cleanup action after Ecology approves the work plan.  Oxidant will be injected into groundwater later this summer, or in the early fall, in two general locations: (1) an area just north of the Lucile St/Maynard Ave. intersection; and, (2) a north-to-south line along the east side of 6th Ave. S., between Lucile and Orcas Sts.


2017 in-situ pilot study locations
Please click on the photo for a larger view

CLEANUP - EAST OF 4TH SITE

Stericycle is conducting two cleanup actions at this site:

In 2015 Stericycle began a cleanup action focused on reducing volatile organic groundwater contamination behind the facility’s subsurface barrier wall (east of Denver Ave. S. and north of S. Lucile St.). Since 2016 they have injected a bioremediation enhancement very six months, and then recirculated the enhancement material by pumping in one area and re-injecting in another. The enhancement material helps naturally-occurring bacteria degrade contaminants like TCE and vinyl chloride.  Injections are typically performed in May and September. The last six-month injection/recirculation event is scheduled for May of next year (2020). See below.

A full-scale cleanup action to reduce 1,4-dioxane levels in groundwater will be implemented later this year (2019).  As noted above, a remedial design Work Plan for this action was submitted for Ecology’s review.  Once the document is finalized Stericycle will begin implementing the work.  The cleanup action proposed in the Work Plan is based on the results of three pilot studies Stericycle performed in 2016-2018.  Study results indicated that ISCO could be an effective cleanup technology if sodium persulfate is activated with another chemical (such as hydrogen peroxide), and injections can reliably distribute the oxidant to specific portions of the aquifer. The studies are summarized below.

An ISCO study, which tested the effectiveness of injecting non-activated sodium persulfate into groundwater
A study which tested the effectiveness of wax cylinders ("candles") that slowly release oxidants (persulfate and permanganate) into groundwater
A bioaugmentation study that evaluated the effectiveness of introducing non-native microorganisms (i.e. bacteria) capable of destroying 1,4-dioxane into the groundwater. Note:  the microorganisms did not thrive in site groundwater at the depths they were introduced.


 

Map showing site location as King County, WA SITE INFORMATION

Map

View Electronic Documents

Cleanup Site Details Report

Facility Site ID: # 47779679

Cleanup Site ID: 2622

Location:
Seattle, King County

Status: Cleanup Started   Get definitions of Status terminology

Contacts:
Ed Jones
Site Manager
425-649-4449

Thea Levkovitz
Public Involvement Coordinator



Document Repositories:

Northwest Regional Office
3190 160th Ave SE
Bellevue, 98008-5452
(425)649-7190

South Park Branch / Seattle Public Library
8604 Eighth Avenue South
Seattle, 98108
(206)615-1688