LETTER: Cleaning Up Contamination Due to Past Land or Business Use

Dear Editor:


There are more than 120 sites in Kirkland that have been identified as Department of Ecology Clean Up Sites.  As a property owner, developer, consultant, city employee or citizen, consider your responsibility to report to Department of Ecology when you learn of toxics, underground storage tanks or when you plan independent clean-up or remedial activities. 





Why it matters...


Accidental spills of dangerous materials and past business practices have contaminated land and water throughout the state. The Toxics Cleanup Program works to remedy these situations, which range from cleaning up contamination from leaking underground storage tanks, to large, complex projects requiring engineered solutions.


Washington codes set forth the requirements for reporting a release of a hazardous substance due to past activities, whether discovered before or after the effective date of this regulation. It also sets forth the requirements for reporting independent remedial actions. The Department of Ecology may take any other actions it deems appropriate to identify potential hazardous waste sites.


Reports are to be made within 90 days of discovery, except that releases from Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) shall be reported within 24 hours and any remedial actions planned, completed or underway must be reported.


Who files the report with Department of Ecology: All persons who have knowledge of, or suspect these situations 


There are state laws (RCWs) for additional reporting requirements for independent remedial actions for clean-up and independent remedial actions for releases from underground storage tanks.


Within ninety days of receiving information, the department of Ecology shall conduct an initial investigation in accordance with Washington code and review reports that document independent cleanup actions. The review shall include an evaluation of whether the site qualifies for removal from the hazardous sites list or whether further remedial action is required.


Karen Levenson