Groundwater moves slowly through soil, sand, and rocks underground. While groundwater contamination is above cleanup levels, the concentrations are low and do not affect people, pets, or the environment. Low level TCE contamination in groundwater extends for more than a mile north and northwest of the Boeing Auburn facility.
Boeing evaluated site-wide groundwater contamination and potential cleanup options in the feasibility and supplemental feasibility studies. These studies compare cleanup methods.
The cleanup methods selected were:
- Natural attenuation.
Boeing is drafting the cleanup action plan.
Even though soil contamination levels are low and not a risk to human health and the environment, there are a few areas where soil contamination is above cleanup levels. Boeing's site is divided into 31 areas, and four of these must be further evaluated.
Chemicals released may include low levels of petroleum hydrocarbons, cyanide, and metals (such as cadmium and copper).
Surface water is safe. Boeing collected and tested hundreds of water samples. None contained toxic chemicals at levels that affect human health.
Samples were collected from:
- Government Canal
- Stormwater collection ditch on Chicago Ave
- O Street wetland
- Outlet Collection stormwater ponds and collection ditch
- Auburn 400 ponds
- Mill Creek and various wetlands associated with Mill Creek, including Auburn Environmental Park
Boeing continues to evaluate groundwater across the site.
Breathing the air near the site is safe. Air samples taken from inside and outside homes and buildings were reviewed by the Department of Health (DOH).
We monitor the levels of volatile contaminants in groundwater (chemicals that contain carbon and become a gas at room temperature). If these contaminant levels rise in groundwater, we can test more indoor air samples to make sure it remains safe.