Cleaning up: An update will help Everett’s Riverfront redevelopment move forward

Información en español abajo

We’re excited to help Everett transform its Snohomish River waterfront. Former industrial sites and a closed landfill — all carefully managed cleanup sites — are now or soon to be residential and commercial areas. The riverfront itself is becoming an accessible public amenity that all can enjoy.

We’ve overseen cleanup and monitoring of the former Everett Landfill for several years. Our legal agreement — called a consent decree — with a succession of property owners provides specifications for safe redevelopment and occupancy. (Visit our webpage for these legal agreement files.)

Aerial map of cleanup site east of I-5 and west of Snohomish River with new housing developments both north and south of site

The Everett Riverfront redevelopment includes the former Everett Landfill site and two former industrial sites.

A central concern is proper management of methane and other gases that naturally come from the waste material in the site, an issue for any closed municipal landfill. Redevelopment will include piping in the ground to collect and remove these gases. As a backstop to this, buildings will include sensors and ventilation systems that can provide fresh air to the indoors, as needed.

We’re proposing to approve an amendment (PDF file) to the consent decree that would allow a further building design option — first floor residential units — subject to building design requirements that include a ventilated space under the first floor.

This will be the third amendment we’ve made over the years to the consent decree. We’re inviting the public to review and comment on the amendment and to attend an online public meeting, where we’ll explain the consent decree and amendment, and answer questions about them.

  • Comment through our online comment portal. Enter or paste text and attach documents. Comments also can be emailed or mailed to our site manager, Sunny Becker:; Dept. of Ecology, PO BOX 330316, Shoreline WA 98133-9716
  • Register and join our online meeting on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at 6 p.m.

Historic use and contamination

The Everett Landfill site is approximately 70 acres, located east of downtown Everett, between I-5 and the Snohomish River. It is currently under development by the owner, Riverfront Commercial Investment, LLC, for commercial and residential uses.

View of new roads, medians, and sidewalks on redeveloped cleanup site

A new arterial at north end of the former Everett Landfill site will serve the Everett Riverfront redevelopment area.

The site was used as a municipal landfill from 1917 to 1974. In 1974, the landfill stopped accepting waste, and was graded and closed the following year. In 1977, a commercial recycling operation began storing rubber tires on the central and eastern half of the site. Two tire fires occurred on the site in 1983 and 1984, contributing to the contamination on-site. In 1990, the site was added to our list of hazardous sites under the Model Toxics Control Act.

An agreed order was signed in 1994, which required remedial actions that included leachate control (managing water that drains from a landfill) and management of landfill debris and tire fire ash, as well as control of perimeter landfill gas. Since 1995, areas of the site have been graded, capped, or excavated to remove or control the contaminant movement. Groundwater and landfill gas have been monitored at the site since the early 2000s. The consent decree and a cleanup action plan were finalized in 2001.

Site re-development and new requirements

Existing CD commercial and garage/laundry ground level development allowed

The current Everett Landfill site consent decree requires these measures to safely manage gas formed underground from landfill materials.

The consent decree permits development of commercial buildings with upper story residential living space and townhome development on the site (see images to the right). 

Construction of grading, utility work, and paving is currently underway on the west side of the site, along with construction of the first two mixed-use building foundations and shells. These mixed-use buildings will support 333 residences and approximately 31,000 square feet of commercial, retail, business, and service uses. First occupancies are anticipated in fall 2023.

New Work/Live Units proposed on ground level with additional safeguards

Our proposed amendment leaves all existing landfill gas controls in places, but adds specifications to enable buildings that can include first floor dwelling units.

This amendment will maintain the consent decree’s existing requirements. It will add a clarification that street-level residential uses, such as the work/live units (PDF file) proposed for the project, use a separation space between residential space and the ground, with  monitoring, ventilation, and additional landfill gas sensors and alarms.  (See right.)

What happens next?

We will consider all comments received and may change the amendment based on them, and hold another public comment period if large changes are made. If no changes are made, we will finalize the amendment, and Riverfront Commercial Investment, LLC will proceed with development and additional requirements.

En español

El Departamento de Ecología está anunciando el periodo de comentario público relacionado a la limpieza ambiental del sitio Everett Landfill Tire Fire. Para obtener este documento, o más información sobre este sitio, en español favor de comunicarse con Mark Wheeler al 509-329-3444 o