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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor
NEWS ADVISORY

SUBJECT: City of Seattle and Boeing Agree to Share Slip 4 Cleanup Costs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
2/12/2010  2:30:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Blythe Jameson, Environment, Health and Safety Communications, The Boeing Company (562) 484-1536
Kimberly Mills  (206) 684-8602


City of Seattle and Boeing Agree to Share Slip 4 Cleanup Costs

The City of Seattle and The Boeing Company have settled claims relating to the cleanup of Slip 4, a part of the Duwamish Waterway Superfund site. Slip 4 contains Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), which are toxic.

Under the agreement, Boeing will pay the City $4.8 million as reimbursement of its share of past costs. The City and Boeing have agreed to share the future cleanup expenses of Slip 4 and for the ongoing investigation of upland areas.

The total cost of these efforts is expected to be at least $13 million.

The City's portion of costs will be paid by Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities, which have funds set aside for the cleanup. The agreement was negotiated by the Seattle City Attorney's Office, on behalf of the City.

Background:

Slip 4 is part of a larger Duwamish River cleanup project. The upland properties that drain into the slip include the historic Georgetown Steam Plant and North Boeing Field. A 100-year-old flume on the site carried cooling water from the plant, as well as drainage from adjacent areas of North Boeing Field, to the waterway. Historical uses of PCBs ended in the 1970s, but PCBs are persistent and remain in the environment for many decades after use.

Since 2003, the City and King County have taken the lead in cleanup efforts. From 2003 to 2006, the City investigated contamination at Slip 4 with oversight from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State Department of Ecology.

The cleanup was put on hold in 2007 when it was discovered that PCBs still were being found in pipes that discharge to the slip. To help remove one potential source of recontamination, Seattle City Light cleaned and removed the flume last year.

The Department of Ecology continues to investigate the sources of incoming PCBs. The City has been paying part of the investigation cost, as has Boeing. In 2007, the City of Seattle sued Boeing for contribution toward the cleanup of the slip and the investigations of upland contamination.

The settlement agreement between the City and Boeing was reached just weeks before the matter was scheduled to go to trial when Boeing stepped in as a full partner in the cleanup effort.

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City Attorney's Office

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