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The Quendall Terminals Superfund site is on the southeastern shore of Lake Washington, near the I-405 exit 7. Creosote was manufactured at the Quendall Terminals site from 1916 through 1969. Coal and oil-gas tar residues (called coal tars) were distilled into three fractions that were shipped off the site or transported to the neighboring J.H. Baxter & Co. for use in wood-treating operations. Between 1969 and 1983, the site was used to store crude oil, waste oil, and diesel. From 1975 to 2009, it was used as a log-sorting and storage yard.
EPA added the site to the Superfund National Priorities List in 2006. The site is currently vacant and fenced to prevent public access.
Contamination at the Quendall Terminals site
Quendall Terminals was contaminated by releases of coal tars and distillate products from transport, production, storage, and disposal. Soil in the uplands and sediments on the lake bottom are both contaminated.
The upland portion of the site covers about 22 acres, including nearly 1,500 feet of Lake Washington Shoreline. The upland soils are contaminated with oily creosote and coal tars found in thick liquid form (dense nonaqueous phase liquid or DNAPL). Soil and sediment containing DNAPL have been defined by EPA as principal threat wastes. Contaminants leach out of this thick liquid into the groundwater.
The offshore portion of the site extending into Lake Washington covers about 29 acres. Spills contaminated shallow sediment with oily creosote and coal tars. Creosote and coal tars are present in deeper sediment along the shoreline where it has moved from the uplands. The groundwater from the uplands also spreads the contamination into the nearby lake sediments where people and aquatic life can be exposed to it.
Altino Properties and J. H. Baxter & Company, two of the Responsible Parties for the site, conducted a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) to better understand the type and amount of contamination and develop a cleanup plan.
Proposed cleanup plans were issued in the fall of 2019
EPA held a 60-day public comment period for the Quendall Terminals Superfund Site Cleanup Proposed Plans. Comments were accepted from September 9, 2019 through November 8, 2019. Final decisions on the cleanups were made only after public comments were considered. Comments were all considered equally. The comments and a summary of EPA’s response to the comments are in the Record of Decision Part 3, Responsiveness Summary.
The Proposed Plans, a fact sheet explaining our preferred cleanup plans, our Community Involvement Plan, and other documents about our work at the site are available in the link to Site Documents & Data.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
The site is being addressed through federal, state and PRP actions.
What Is the Current Site Status?
Creosote is a thick, oily liquid distilled from coal tar containing hundreds of chemicals, including benzene, naphthalene, and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (cPAH), such as benzo(a)pyrene. Creosote was the primary product manufactured at the site.
In 1997, Quendall completed a remedial investigation (RI), a risk assessment and a focused feasibility study (FS) under the oversight of the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology). No removal actions have taken place to date.
In May 2005, Ecology requested that EPA take the lead for overseeing the cleanup at the site. In 2006, EPA requested that the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) complete a second RI and FS to fill in site data gaps. Quendall completed the remedial investigation in 2012, and the feasibility study was final in 2017.
In July of 2020, after considering all comments received during the comment period for the Proposed Plan for cleanup, EPA issued the final cleanup plan for the Quendall Terminals Superfund site.