Boeing Auburn cleanup site

We oversee the cleanup process that Boeing conducts at its Auburn facility at 700 15th St. SW. Contamination of soil and groundwater at the site extends more than a mile north and northwest of Boeing’s property.

Response to public comments available

You can view our response to your comments on the corrective action permit and public participation plan.

Boeing has operated under a corrective action permit since 2006. This permit allows them to clean up contamination at the Auburn facility at 700 15th St. SW. As a matter of procedure, the permit needed to be reissued — this was not due to any new contamination at the site.

We held a public comment period from July 19 - Sept. 7, 2018. You can read the final Agreed Order (legal agreement), the permit and the public participation plan.

Next steps

Boeing is drafting a feasibility study to evaluate cleanup methods for the contamination on and off of the property. We will hold a public comment period for the feasibility study later this year. Sign up on our listserv to receive notification.

Site background

Boeing historically treated, stored, and disposed of hazardous waste at its Auburn facility. Contamination on the property varies by location, but it includes traces of metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, and solvent chemicals.

In parts of Auburn and Algona, the groundwater is contaminated with a chemical called trichloroethene (TCE) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The contamination most likely originated from a degreaser used at the Boeing Auburn facility. The contaminated groundwater (called a plume) flows north and northwest away from the Boeing property into portions of southwest Auburn and northeast Algona.

Remedial investigation findings

During the remedial investigation, we required Boeing to test places where people can come into contact with the contaminated groundwater as it enters surface waters (like ditches, shallow groundwater and creeks) or the air (through air in soil pockets or indoor air). We consistently found chemical levels low enough that they do not pose a risk to human health.

The remedial investigation began in 2002 and evaluated the location, size, and impacts of underground contamination. We approved the remedial investigation report.

Key findings of the investigation


Boeing must further evaluate four of the 31 areas on their property.
Chemicals released may include low levels of petroleum hydrocarbons, cyanide, and metals (such as cadmium and copper).

Surface water Groundwater Air quality

The cleanup process

Under the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), contaminated sites in Washington must go through a four-step cleanup process:

1. Remedial investigation Interim action 2. Feasibility study 3. Cleanup action plan 4. Cleanup and monitoring

Public input & events

Before completing major steps in the cleanup process, we share our plans with the public and request feedback on our decisions. Check here for upcoming opportunities for public comment and events related to the cleanup. You can also join our email list.


Boeing's Auburn facility produces parts, tools, and assemblies for commercial aircraft. The contamination likely came from historic operations during the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s.

Frequently asked questions

What is the problem? When did the contamination occur? When did Boeing and Ecology begin cleanup work? Why is the cleanup taking so long? Is there any work being done to clean up the contamination? Is the drinking water safe? Can I eat fruits and vegetables from my garden? Is the sheen or discoloration in ditches related to this contamination?

Información en español