Department of Ecology News Release - April 8, 2021

Rainier Valley site’s redevelopment will include environmental cleanup

Cleanup and redevelopment of these three Seattle blocks, just south of I-90 and a future Eastside Link light rail station, will include affordable housing.

SEATTLE – 

A three-block redevelopment project in Seattle’s Rainier Valley will incorporate environmental cleanup into excavation and contstruction scheduled to begin later this year, under a proposed cleanup plan.

The Washington Department of Ecology seeks public comment on the plan and related documents from April 12  through May 11, 2021. Ecology will host an online public meeting on April 28 at 6:30 p.m. with a presentation on the cleanup, followed by a question and answer session.

Grand Street Commons LLC (GSC) plans to conduct the cleanup work as it builds affordable and market rate housing units and retail space on three blocks centered along South Grand Street, between Rainier Avenue South and 23rd Avenue South.

Ecology’s Healthy Housing Remediation Program has provided $3.5 million in cleanup assistance funding for the site to the Mount Baker Housing Association, a non-profit member of the GSC partnership. The pilot program has issued grants for cleanup of contaminated sites that are being redeveloped into affordable housing.

Background and contamination

GSC is cleaning up the site under a 2018 legal agreement with Ecology. The company investigated contamination from past activities, including manufacturing, painting and dry cleaning operations that took place on parts of the property or adjacent locations. Previous owners conducted partial cleanups, some of which occurred under Ecology’s Voluntary Cleanup Program.

Site work will include:

  • Removal of soil in locations contaminated by petroleum products and dry cleaning solvents.
  • Isolating and containing other areas of soil with cadmium and lead contamination under a paved cap.
  • Injecting cleanup materials via wells into groundwater to speed the breakdown of petroleum products and solvents.
  • Installing long-term groundwater monitoring to track the natural breakdown of contamination following the injection treatment.

The company also agrees to place an environmental covenant on the property deed to bar future disturbance of the site’s environmental protections.

Review and comment

Ecology is asking people to review and comment on four items (PDF files):

These are available on Ecology’s website, along with other documents and information about the cleanup of this site.

To submit comments:

Contact information

Larry Altose
Communications
206-920-2600 or
Twitter: ecyseattle
Bob Warren
Toxics Cleanup Program
425-466-5475 or
Twitter: