A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Contractors cleaning up decades-old chemical spill at former Oroweat Bakery Outlet site

November 28th, 2012 by Doree

Lots of trucks and big containers have been at the former Oroweat Bakery Outlet site at the corner of NW 70th Street and Greenwood Avenue North for the last couple of weeks. Mike V sent us this photo that he took from the second floor of a building across the street.

Crews are cleaning up soil that is contaminated from when a dry cleaning chemical distribution facility operated on the site, between 1964 and 1983. Piper Roelen with Landau Associates tells us the soil is contaminated with tetrachloroethene.

Roelen says the property owner is conducting the cleanup under the Department of Ecology’s Voluntary Cleanup Program. Most of the asphalt that currently covers the entire site will remain in place, and will be repaired where crews are drilling and excavating. Roelen says the soil is contaminated as deep as 30 feet in some places.

He says TRS Group, Inc.’s cleanup involves “heating of the subsurface soil to volatilize the contamination through a process called electrical resistance heating (ERH). The contamination is then drawn to the surface as a vapor through vacuum extraction, then captured from the vapor stream with activated carbon. The carbon is then shipped to a facility where the contamination is destroyed through thermal desorption (high heat destruction).”

The cleanup is expected to last until early spring. He says the property will likely be sold after the cleanup.

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Department of Ecology cleaning up oil spill on Greenwood and 88th

February 14th, 2011 by Doree

Dave told us about an oil spill he witnessed Sunday afternoon behind the remodeled building that used to house the OK Corral restaurant, on Greenwood Avenue at about North 88th Street, next to Walgreens.

Firefighters built a little earthen dam to keep the oil from spreading further.

Dave says a tow truck driver was hauling away a car behind the building when the car got caught on a rusty oil tank, resulting in a leak.

I went into the house to get a camera. I came back and the driver had backed the truck up to the tank and was trying to use the lift on the tow truck to get under the tank and lift it up. That resulted in an even bigger flow of what now was black oil. He managed to get the tank somewhat level and placed a wood block underneath it to support it…

At this point I called 911 and was connected with SFD. The driver said he was going to leave to get materials to clean up the site. I asked him not to leave. He left and I called 911 again and asked for the police.

SFD arrived and started to assess the situation. The tow truck driver came back. He talked to firemen. He said that Fred Meyer didn’t have the right stuff so he was going somewhere else to get some sand. The firemen said ok, He left again…

The firemen built a dirt dam across the alley. The tow truck driver came back with 2 bags of sand. The cops interviewed the tow truck driver. SDOT arrived with more sand. SFD left, the tow truck driver left with the car in tow, and SPD left.

The SDOT guy deployed all his sand. A helper arrived with more sand. A few hours later they had filled several 55-gallon drums with oily-sand.

Later that night it started to rain and the remaining sand and oil started to run down the alley to the drain.

This morning I called SPU and the response was swift! Now a team from State Dept of Ecology is cleaning up.

We’ve got a message into the Washington Department of Ecology for more information. We’ll update this post when we hear back.

Larry Altose, media spokesman for the Washington Department of Ecology’s Northwest Regional Office, tells us that Seattle Public Utilities asked for Ecology’s help today because SPU ran out of equipment. Altose says the Ecology crew finished helping out this afternoon.

A Washington Department of Ecology truck cleans up the oil spill on Monday.

Thanks to Dave for the info and pictures!

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