Even though soil contamination levels are low and not a risk to human health and the environment, contamination above cleanup levels must be addressed. Boeing must further evaluate four of the 31 areas on their property that have soil contamination above cleanup levels. Chemicals released may include low levels of petroleum hydrocarbons, cyanide, and metals (such as cadmium and copper).
Surface water is safe. Boeing collected hundreds of water samples on and near the site, including from:
- Government Canal
- Stormwater collection ditch on Chicago Avenue
- 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
Testing showed that these sites did not contain toxic chemicals at levels that affect human health. We asked Boeing to continue to evaluate groundwater across the site to make sure that contaminants are not reaching surface waters.
Groundwater moves slowly through soil, sand, and rocks underground. Although groundwater contamination is above cleanup levels, the concentrations are low and are not affecting people, pets or the environment. We asked Boeing to continue to evaluate site-wide groundwater contamination and potential cleanup options. The plume of low-level TCE contamination in groundwater at Boeing Auburn extends for more than a mile north and northwest of the Boeing Auburn facility. Where contamination levels are above cleanup thresholds, we're developing a strategy to clean up the groundwater.
Breathing the air near Boeing Auburn is not harmful to human health. Air samples were taken from inside and outside homes and commercial buildings, and the results reviewed by the Department of Health. We will keep watching the levels of volatile contaminants in groundwater during the cleanup. If contaminant levels rise in groundwater, we can ask for more indoor air samples to make sure that indoor air remains safe.
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