King County, WA Clean-Up of Toxic Waste

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King County, WA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 9/29/03


Legislative File ID 2003-0432
A MOTION calling for the cleanup of existing toxic waste in the Duwamish river, the prevention of future toxic waste from recontaminating the Duwamish river and the proper treatment or disposal of toxic waste.

WHEREAS, the Duwamish river was once a river teeming with wild salmon, trout, waterfowl and other aquatic species, and

WHEREAS, in addition to providing critical habitat for a variety of wildlife, the Duwamish river has served as a recreational waterway for citizens and as resource for many businesses that contribute to our local economy, and

WHEREAS, in 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency designated the Duwamish river as a Superfund site, and

WHEREAS, the Environmental Protection Agency has identified thirty-six chemicals exceeding cleanup screening levels, including lead, mercury, arsenic, cadium, PCBs and zinc, and

WHEREAS, a coalition of community groups, environmental organizations, governmental jurisdictions and private companies, including, but not limited to, the Georgetown Community Council, People for Puget Sound, Washington Toxics Coalition, Puget Sound Keeper, Duwamish Tribe, King County, Port of Seattle, city of Seattle and Boeing, have partnered to cooperatively and effectively comply with Environmental Protection Agency clean-up regulations;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT MOVED by the Council of King County:

A. It is imperative that swift, appropriate and effective actions be taken to clean up existing toxic waste in the Duwamish river to ensure the long-term health of:

1. The many fish, wildlife and plant species that depend on the river's ecosystem;
2. The human populations that live and work near the river; and
3. The many businesses that are located near the river and depend on the river as a resource;

B. In addition to any effort to clean up the Duwamish river, it is critical that new industrial technologies, appropriate regulations and environmental monitoring be utilized to prevent future toxic waste from recontaminating this valuable resource;

C. Any toxic waste removed from the Duwamish river for disposal elsewhere should be managed in accordance with state and federal requirements;

D. All reasonably available disposal and treatment options for sediments, along with the pros and cons of each option, should be thoroughly explored before a final decision to locate the sediments; and

E. The costs of studying, designing and conducting needed toxic waste cleanup, clean-up monitoring, avoiding recontamination by future toxic waste, materials removal for disposal elsewhere, treatment of removed materials and final disposal must be fairly allocated among all responsible parties and not be disproportionately borne by any one entity or group of individuals such as King County wastewater ratepayers.