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King County Brownfields program no longer in operation

The King County Brownfields Program in no longer in operation. Other brownfields resources may be found at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency external link , the Washington State Department of Ecology external link and the Washington State Department of Commerce external link .

This former dry cleaner is located in Bothell, Washington on SR 527. The City of Bothell had targeted this property for possible purchase and redevelopment as part of their Downtown Revitalization Plan which is designed to redevelop downtown into a vibrant, pedestrian-focused, mixed-use neighborhood. In 2006, at the city's request, the Brownfields Program conducted a Phase I environmental site assessment which analyzed prior reports and confirmed contamination of dry cleaning solvents above Washington State Department of Ecology cleanup standards. The Raincheck site was purchased by the City of Bothell in 2012 and redeveloped in 2015 as a new municipal City Hall campus.

Former Raincheck Dry Cleaners
Former Raincheck Dry Cleaners Site
Groundwater Monitoring
Groundwater Monitoring

This former dry cleaner is located in Bothell, Washington on Bothell Way NE. The City of Bothell has targeted this property for possible future redevelopment as part of their Downtown Revitalization Plan which is designed to redevelop downtown into a vibrant, pedestrian-focused, mixed-use neighborhood. In 2006, at the city's request, the Brownfields Program conducted a Phase I environmental site assessment which analyzed prior reports and confirmed contamination of dry cleaning solvents above Washington State Department of Ecology cleanup standards. If the city or a developer purchases the property, the information provided in the assessment will be used to address the contamination.

Former Simon and Sons Dry Cleaner Site
Former Simon and Sons Dry Cleaner Site
Groundwater monitoring during assessment
Groundwater monitoring

The City of Enumclaw identified this former bulk oil distribution facility as a potential new site for the city's senior center. In 2006 and 2011, the Brownfields Program conducted Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments on the property to determine the extent of contamination. The assessments found petroleum contamination above Washington State Department of Ecology cleanup standards and next steps for the site were to identify cleanup funding and a development partner.

Former Oil Distribution Site
Former Simon and Sons Dry Cleaner Site
During Assessment
During Assessment

The Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) purchased a former dry cleaner in the Central District for redevelopment into a mixed-use building with retail and affordable housing. In 2006, the Brownfields Program conducted a Phase II environmental site assessment that found petroleum and dry cleaning solvent contamination above Washington State Department of Ecology cleanup standards. SHA conducted the cleanup and is developing the property as part of a master planned development for the 30-acre Yesler Terrace site.

Former NuWay Dry Cleaners Site
Former NuWay Dry Cleaners Site
During Assessment
During Assessment

Starting in the 1920s, a saw mill, millpond, and greenhouse were in use on this site located at the head of Tramp Harbor on Vashon Island. The mill and greenhouses were demolished in the 1940s, but the site continued to be used through the 1950s to store and transfer oil for use at other greenhouses on the island. The 8.66-acre site includes tide land and wetlands bisected by Ellisport Creek. The historic uses resulted in the site being contaminated with heavy "Bunker C" oil and other hydrocarbons above Washington State Department of Ecology cleanup standards. Between 2005 and 2007, the Brownfields Program conducted three rounds of Phase II sampling on the site, including a Terrestrial Ecological Evaluation (TEE) Download PDF , 4 MB) to determine site-specific cleanup levels. A poster entitled Using Bioassays to Provide a More Cost Effective Cleanup Download PDF , 5 MB) explains how the TEE was developed. Vashon Island residents, community groups, and King County agencies would like to see the site cleaned up and set aside for open space, however, there is a need to identify a potential property owner and funds for cleanup.

Ellisport Creek Site on Tramp Harbor
Ellisport Creek Site on Tramp Harbor
Oily Sheen on Wetland
Oily Sheen on Wetland
During Assessment
During Assessment

SouthEast Effective Development (SEED), a nonprofit community development corporation, purchased seven blighted acres in the Rainier Valley of Seattle for redevelopment into affordable housing and commercial space. The site was an unregulated landfill in the 1930s and '40s and had a number of subsequent uses, including vehicle storage and maintenance, electrical contracting, manufacturing, welding, offices, and a mortuary. The site also had been used for illegal dumping and other criminal activities. Soil and groundwater contamination on the site included polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), petroleum, solvents and metals.

Between 1999 and 2008, the Brownfields Program assisted the project in several important ways:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a Targeted Brownfields Assessment (TBA) external link that included three phases of soil and groundwater sampling at the site (valued at over $300,000) at no cost to SEED.
  • On contract to King County, the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS) external link provided extensive technical assistance to the project, including advising on EPA sampling activities, overseeing the removal of underground storage tanks and reviewing cleanup plans.
  • The Brownfields Program provided $25,000 in EPA funds for supplemental groundwater sampling and analysis.
  • The Brownfields Program provided $25,000 in EPA funds to remove underground storage tanks and contaminated soil.
  • The State of Washington provided a $440,000 EPA loan at 1 percent interest to finance site cleanup.

The site has been redeveloped into a mixed-use housing and commercial project in four phases. Phase I, Courtland Place external link , developed 208 units of low- and moderate-income elderly housing and 9,000 square feet of new commercial space that resulted in 150 construction jobs and 25 permanent jobs. Phase II, the Dakota external link , developed 178 units of affordable family housing and offers community programs and a secure courtyard and playground for children. Phase III, Columbia Gardens at Rainer Court external link , was completed in 2014 with 70 units of affordable apartment and townhomes. Phase IV is in the process of being cleaned up external link , and will provide 78 apartments and 20 townhomes for rent to low-to moderate income seniors.

Brownfields cleanup at Rainier Court
Rainier Court: Blighted Lots
Brownfields cleanup at Rainier Court
During Cleanup
Rainier Court
Successful Redevelopment: Senior and Family Housing with Retail

The Kwik Cleaners site is a former dry cleaners on Beacon Hill. In 1998, the owner of the nearby Delite Bakery purchased the site with the hope of moving and expanding her business there. Meanwhile, Sound Transit expressed interest in the site for possible use in construction of the Beacon Hill light rail station. However, when they conducted environmental sampling, they discovered that the soil and groundwater were highly contaminated with dry cleaning solvents and decided to find another site.

The owner was at a loss as to how to deal with the environmental problems, but at the suggestion of Sound Transit, she contacted the King County Brownfields Program’s consultant Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS) external link . As a result, between 2001 and 2003, she received extensive help in understanding and navigating the site assessment and cleanup process. ECOSS staff reviewed existing environmental reports and referred her to an environmental attorney who was able to secure funds for assessment and cleanup from the insurance company of the former dry cleaners. The attorney and ECOSS staff also assisted the owner in hiring an environmental consultant to design and perform the cleanup.

The site was cleaned up in 2003, and a groundbreaking was held with the King County Executive and the Mayor of Seattle on September 8, 2003. The new bakery opened for business on June 2, 2004, and held a grand opening external link on July 16, 2004.

Brownfields cleanup at Kwik Cleaners
Kwik Clean: Former Dry Cleaner
Brownfields cleanup at Kwik Cleaners
During Cleanup
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New building after Kwik Cleaners cleanup
Successful Redevelopment: Delite Bakery

This 22-acre property, located in rural King County along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River, is the site of a former methamphetamine lab and illegal auto body chop shop. In 1996, the site was subject to a regional narcotics team bust and a Washington State Department of Ecology emergency cleanup; however, considerable debris remained, along with the threat of environmental contamination.

King County wished to purchase the site for open space preservation but needed the site to be clean prior to purchase. Between 2000 and 2002, the county used a conservation easement to assess and clean up the site prior to acquisition, removing 190 tons of debris, 55 cubic yards of contaminated soil and 400 gallons of hazardous waste. Contaminants on the site included petroleum and solvents. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessment grant funds were provided via the Brownfields Program to conduct environmental sampling and the cleanup was conducted by King County.

King County Waterways 2000 Program funds were used to purchase the site and the cost of the cleanup was deducted from the purchase price. The site is now a part of a 150-acre wildlife habitat that is being preserved through public ownership.

Brownfields cleanup at Mid-Fork
Mid-Fork: Former Meth Lab
Brownfields cleanup at Mid-Fork
During Cleanup
Mid-Fork after cleanup
Successful Restoration: Snoqualmie River
Mid-Fork after cleanup
Successful Restoration: Snoqualmie River
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King County Solid Waste Division mission: Waste Prevention, Resource Recovery, Waste Disposal