State will start cleaning up Burien’s Lora Lake sites; Ecology seeking comment

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Burien’s Lora Lake area will finally get cleaned up, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Ecology officials announced Monday (Oct. 21) that they will start removing some toxins at the site, then cap the rest.

A public comment period begins today on the plan, which is one of the last steps in the long and often controversial tale of The Lora Lake Apartments:

In the 1940s and 1950s, the site was used for cleaning barrels that had contained chemicals. From about 1960 to 1981, the site was used for auto wrecking. A developer purchased the site during the 1980s, and in 1987 built the Lora Lake Apartments. In1998, the Port of Seattle (Port) bought the site, part of which was required for Sea-Tac Airport’s Third Runway Protection Zone, where residences are prohibited. Six of the apartment buildings were within the Runway Protection Zone. These buildings were demolished in 2007. Sixteen buildings remain and are scheduled for demolition this summer. The portion of the site that was not required for the Runway Protection Zone is slated to be redeveloped.

Former activities at the site released hazardous chemicals into the environment including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, petroleum products, pentachlorophenol, dioxin, tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene, 1,2-dichloroethane and arsenic. In June 2009, Ecology and the Port entered into the Agreed Order, under which the Port agrees to conduct a Remedial Investigation/ Feasibility Study (RI/FS). The Remedial Investigation will identify the nature and extent of contamination associated with former operations at the site. The Feasibility Study will assess alternative means of cleaning up the contamination. A Work Plan will be prepared describing the investigations and engineering assessments that will be performed. When the work is complete, the Port will prepare a report presenting the results of the RI/FS.

Ecology and the Port of Seattle will host an open house to present the results of the investigations and the proposed cleanup actiosn to be taken at the site. You will have an opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding the cleanup with Ecology and Port of Seattle staff members. Written comments will be accepted at the open house.

Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Location: Highline School District’s Educational Resource and Administration Center
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW
Burien, WA

Ecology and Port of Seattle will enter into a Consent Decree which is a legal agreement filed in court.  The Consent Decree identifies the cleanup actions selected by Ecology for the site.

Ecology invites comments on the following documents:

  • Consent Decree and documents. The Consent Decree identifies the cleanup actions selected by Ecology for this site.
  • Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study. The study describes the nature and extent of contamination and the cleanup action alternatives considered for addressing the contamination.
  • Updated public participation plan outlines and describes the tools and approaches that Ecology will use to inform the public about site activities.
  • State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist and Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance

Send written comments to David L. South, Ecology Site Manager, by emailing [email protected] or by mail to 3190 160th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98008.

Despite much protest, residents were forced to move out of the apartments in 2007 as part of Sea-Tac Airport’s third runway project; read our extensive previous coverage here.

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One Response to “State will start cleaning up Burien’s Lora Lake sites; Ecology seeking comment”
  1. Question Authority says:

    From memory I recall being told that auto wrecking yard had quite the collection of mid to late fities Chevy parts hoarded by the owner in the confines of his office that he refused to part with no matter what he was offered. My understanding was he liked the bottle more than money and considered it his private treasure hoard, he sold out and fed it all to a crusher rather than sell it, my friend who tried buying parts for all that time shed tears.
    P.S. I miss the bowling alley and Vacca’s pumpkin patch and Rabanco Garbage Co. Thanks to that 3rd runway and all the joy it brings us in Burien, cleaning up the poison is at least something positive happening at the site.

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