Department of Ecology News Release - June 4, 2018

Ecology proposes removing polluted soil in North Spokane

Accepting comments through July 3

Spokane  –  A proposal to remove petroleum-polluted soil in Spokane’s historic Hillyard neighborhood to make way for construction of the North Spokane Corridor is ready for public review.
The Washington Department of Ecology is proposing the soil be removed because the BNSF Railway Black Tank cleanup site sits in the pathway of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) project to connect U.S. Highway 395 to Interstate 90.
The site is polluted with diesel and a heavy oil called bunker C that was used for fueling trains. These products were stored in large above-ground tanks that leaked, polluting the soil and groundwater below.
Although the heavy oil is sitting on top of the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer, there is no immediate threat to drinking water. A long-term cleanup plan to treat groundwater and contaminated soil is in development and will be finalized later this year.
Ecology recommends removing the upper 15 feet of soil as an interim cleanup project to meet WSDOT’s construction schedule. Clean soil will be brought to the site and graded to meet required specifications for the freeway project. The freeway will not interfere with future cleanup work.
The agreement between Ecology, WSDOT, and the parties responsible for cleanup – BNSF and Marathon Oil – requires the parties work together to protect people and the environment while keeping the corridor’s construction on schedule.

Review documents and submit comments

The proposal and associated documents are available for review at:
  • Hillyard Public Library, 4005 N. Cook St.
  • Ecology’s Eastern Regional Office, 4601 N. Monroe St.
  • Online
Ecology will accept comments through July 3, 2018. Submit comments online, via email to Jeremy Schmidt or by mail, Jeremy Schmidt, Department of Ecology Eastern Regional Office, 4601 N. Monroe St., Spokane, WA, 99203.

Contact information

Brook Beeler
Communications manager
Twitter: EcySpokane