Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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The 40-acre Lockheed West Seattle site is located in Elliott Bay near the mouth of the West Waterway in Seattle, Washington. Harbor Island and Pacific Sound Resources are neighboring Superfund sites. The site includes about 7 acres of aquatic tidelands owned by the Port of Seattle and 33 acres of state-owned aquatic lands. Industrial activities generated considerable quantities of sandblast grit and other industrial waste that discharged to sediments and accumulated beneath dry docks and shipways. Historic industrial practices at the former shipyard contaminated sediment with hazardous chemicals. In August 2013, the EPA released its final cleanup plan, also known as a Record of Decision (ROD), for the site. The company expects to remove approximately 167,000 cubic yards of contaminated material over the course of the cleanup, reducing site risks to people's health and the environment. The two year cleanup is expected to begin in October 2018.

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What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?

A Washington Department of Health fish consumption advisory, warning individuals not to consume contaminated resident seafood caught in the waterway, is in place. However, salmon are safe to eat since they only pass through Elliott Bay and do not live year-round in the bay.

Special advice for fish consumption in the Puget Sound, Elliott Bay, the Lower Duwamish River, and other rivers is available from the Washington Department of Health and King County.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The final cleanup plan, also known as the Record of Decision or ROD, was signed on August 28, 2013. In May 2014, the EPA recognized that Tables 12 and 23 in the Record of Decision contained three transcription errors.  As a result, an Explanation of Significant Difference was issued by EPA on February 12, 2015, correcting these mistakes.

The plan reduces risks to people and wildlife from contaminated sediments by:

  • Dredging and disposing of dredged sediments and other materials at a permitted landfill;
  • Adding a thin layer of clean material across the entire site to enhance natural recovery and cover dredged areas;
  • Continuing the Washington State Department of Health fish advisory to make people aware of risks from eating contaminated seafood; and
  • Removing debris and pilings.

The next phase of the cleanup consists of the Lockheed Martin Corporation developing the cleanup design plans. The Lockheed West Seattle cleanup will remove contamination from a 40-acre area in the northwest mouth of the West Waterway and north of the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5. More than 151,000 cubic yards of sediment will be dredged from the sub-tidal area and an additional 15,800 cubic yards will be excavated or dredged from the shoreline and intertidal area. Cleanup planning and construction will be completed in four years. When construction at the cleanup site is done, the EPA will monitor the site to ensure that the cleanup is effective. Monitoring will be conducted to support the EPA's Five Year Review process.

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EPA’s Involvement at the Site

The site was added to EPA's National Priorities List in 2007. Cleanup is needed to reduce contaminants in mud-dwelling animals, fish, shellfish and birds, and to reduce people's exposure to contaminated mud through net fishing, beach play, clamming or eating resident fish. The Lockheed Martin Corporation is responsible for cleanup of the property with oversight from the EPA. The estimated cost of cleanup is $48.1 million.

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