LoraLakeCleanup15 The Port of Seattle announced on Wednesday (April 29) that it would remove or contain contaminated soil and sediment on its property at the former Lora Lake Apartments in Burien and nearby at Sea-Tac Airport in SeaTac under revisions to a proposed legal agreement between the port and the Washington Department of Ecology. Ecology is gathering public comments on the proposal and related documents through June 17, 2015, and will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, May 13 to explain and answer questions about the draft plan. Proposed cleanup plan The draft agreement, called a consent decree, and cleanup plan reflect public comments Ecology received on earlier proposals, issued in 2013. Work under the revised proposal would begin in 2017. The contamination came from industrial activities that pre-dated construction of the apartment complex, later purchased by the airport as part of a safety zone for the Third Runway.  Lora Lake is an artificial lake where groundwater filled a former peat mine. The proposal divides the cleanup – to be overseen by Ecology – into three parts and includes these actions:

  • Former apartment complex:Remove highly contaminated soil for disposal, place a cap (such as pavement) over less-contaminated areas and place a deed restriction to protect the cap and limit future use of the property to commercial activities.
  • Lora Lake:Fill the lake with clean soil to contain contaminated sediment, while re-establishing a former wetland that will protect water quality in Miller Creek, which passes nearby. Also, in response to public comments, remove a small area of lightly contaminated soil just west of Lora Lake, and adopt additional technical details for long term post-cleanup monitoring of this area.
  • Dredged material containment area:Use pavement or gravel to cover contaminated sediment deposited on airport property from a past dredging of Lora Lake, with a deed restriction to maintain this cover. This cover would also include low-level contaminated soil expected to be removed from the apartment complex site. Also, in response to public comments, use a corrected map to ensure that this area is outside the creek’s 100-year flood plain boundary.
Comment information Ecology seeks public comment through June 17, 2015, on the proposal and related documents:
  • The agreement, called a consent decree, to be filed in King County Superior Court.
  • A cleanup action plan, to be filed as part of the consent decree.
  • An environmental review, called a mitigated determination of non-significance, conducted by Ecology under the State Environmental Policy Act.
  • Additional information on Lora Lake Apartments site and the draft cleanup action plan is available on an Ecology fact sheet.
Review documents To comment, write or email David South, Ecology site manager, 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue WA 98008; or [email protected]. Companion stormwater project A city of Burien storm drain conveys stormwater from a 78-acre area upstream of the former apartment complex to Lora Lake.  Burien proposes to re-route this storm water to a Low Impact Development infiltration facility south of the former apartment complex. Ecology has offered Burien a $1.45 million grant for this work as part of a Water Quality Financial Assistance program. The cleanup proposal includes an alternate stormwater management plan in case the city stormwater project does not proceed. Meeting information
  • Wednesday, May 13, 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Open house begins at 6 p.m., presentation begins at 7 p.m., followed by questions and answers.
  • Highline School District ERAC Building, 15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW, Burien
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