Department of Ecology News Release - February 12, 2016

Drop-in open house set for Feb. 27 on Boeing Auburn cleanup investigation

Contaminated groundwater extends under parts of Algona and Auburn


The Washington Department of Ecology invites the public to an open house later this month to learn about an investigation into groundwater contamination at property owned by The Boeing Company in Auburn that has spread into parts of Algona and Auburn.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, at Alpac Elementary School, 310 Milwaukee Blvd. N., Pacific.

The drop-in event will feature information displays in English and Spanish. Experts from Ecology, state and federal health agencies and the Algona Public Awareness Coalition will be available to answer questions about the investigation, next steps and how the public can be involved. Childcare and Spanish translation will be provided.

Ecology oversees the investigation that Boeing is conducting. Studies have evaluated the location, size and impacts of the underground contamination, which includes solvent chemicals from past releases, primarily trichloroethene (TCE) and vinyl chloride, which forms when TCE breaks down.

To date, the chemicals are mostly found at low levels that are not expected to pose a risk to human health or the environment. The plume of contaminated groundwater extends more than a mile north and northwest of Boeing’s property. Public drinking water in the area is safe to drink according to Auburn Water Utility.

A draft report on the investigation will be available for public comment in late 2016. It will provide information needed for future cleanup planning steps that also will be submitted for public comment: A feasibility study will explore options for cleaning up and remediating the groundwater. Then, Ecology will propose adoption of a cleanup action plan.

People with questions about the investigation may contact Ecology at 253-219-7645 or

Contact information

Larry Altose
Communications manager
Twitter: ecyseattle