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Downtown Contaminated Soil & Groundwater Clean Up
Ecology and the City of Bothell held a 20-day comment period (Jan. 19 –Feb. 7, 2023) to remove the environmental covenant for portions of the Bothell Paint and Decorating, Former Hertz, and Bothell Landing sites. The Bothell Paint & Decorating site is known as Tax Parcel 3. The Bothell Former Hertz and Bothell Landing sites are on Tax Parcel 4.
All petroleum contaminated sources have been removed at Parcel 3 and Parcel 4. Groundwater monitoring data collected between 2020 and 2022 shows localized and naturally high arsenic in some groundwater wells, and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs-diesel and heavy oil) are sporadically detected. The sporadic detections are due to degradation products (polar metabolites) of TPH compounds in groundwater. Ecology has determined that the naturally occurring arsenic and petroleum degradation products do not pose any threat to human health and the environment.
Ecology received seven comments regarding removing the environmental covenants. They've reviewed and considered all of them, and no significant changes will be made to the environmental covenants. Ecology will remove the environmental covenants from Tax Parcels 3 and 4.
This project is a component of Bothell's Downtown Revitalization Plan and is identified in the Capital Facilities Plan as Transportation Project T47. The environmental assessment and cleanup of several contaminated downtown Bothell city-owned properties needs to occur prior to their redevelopment. Starting in early 2008, the City implemented several environmental assessment efforts which entail conducting historic research and field investigations aimed at determining the nature and extent of contamination in soil and/or groundwater on the various properties. This assessment work was followed by cleanup work beginning in summer 2010 that currently continues.
There are several historically contaminated parcels that are along the pathway of the Crossroads (State Route 522) roadway alignment project. These are currently under Cleanup Agreed Orders or Consent Decrees with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology). One site, the Riverside TPH site, was cleaned up and received a No Further Action determination from Ecology in March 2020. The Ultra Cleaners site adjacent to City Hall is also under an Agreed Order and soon to be Consent Decree undergoing a public comment period. Just south of the future Main Street extension near the SHAG development, cleanup of the Bothell Service Center site is being conducted under a Consent Decree with Ecology. In the northern part of downtown, the City independently cleaned up another contaminated property in the area formerly occupied by the Northshore School District’s (NSD) Bus barn and transportation/maintenance facility.
The City has secured grant funding and assistance to perform this work, including:
- Remedial Action Grants totaling about $8 million from the Department of Ecology for assessment and cleanup of the six Agreed Order sites (Bothell Landing, Bothell Riverside TPH, Bothell Riverside HVOC, Bothell Paint & Decorating, Bothell Hertz, and Bothell Ultra Custom Cleaners). Ecology will pay for 50% of eligible costs incurred by the City.
- A $200,000 Brownfields Cleanup Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) to clean up the Bothell Landing site.
- The King County Brownfields Program also assisted the City by conducting environmental investigations to better understand groundwater impacts caused by former dry-cleaning businesses in the downtown area. This work was funded by an EPA Brownfields grant.