Western Processing fifth five-year review now available (PDF) (61 pp. 3.6MB): This recently completed report concluded that: the slurry wall, the sophisticated cap made from multiple layers of soil and high-tech fabric, and the new pump and treat system all work together to prevent groundwater contamination from leaving the property. Contaminated groundwater called the Trans Plume (which escaped before the slurry wall was built) has decreased in concentration to levels well within EPA’s standard for safe drinking water. This review found no evidence that humans or wildlife are being exposed to contaminants from this site. However, for the cleanup to continue to protect people and the environment, EPA recommends that this property’s deed disclose to any future owners the possibility of below-surface soil and groundwater contamination.
For more information contact Joe Wallace, EPA Project Manager at 206-553-4470 or 800-424-4372 (ask for extension 2723) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. TTY users may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 and give the operator Joe Wallace’s phone number.
The 13-acre Western Processing Company, Inc. site is located in the highly industrialized Kent Valley, approximately 20 miles south of Seattle and 2 miles north of the city center for Kent. The company originally reprocessed animal by-products and brewer's yeast, but the business expanded in the 1960s to include recycling, reclaiming, treating, and disposing of industrial wastes. These included electroplating wastes, waste acids (pickle liquor and battery acid), zinc dross and flue dust from steel mills, transformers, waste oils, pesticides, and spent solvents.
From 1961 until 1983, approximately 300 businesses transported their industrial wastes to the Western Processing site. The company stored 72 bulk tanks and around 4,000 to 6,000 drums on the site property. The property also contained other containers, open waste piles and 10 lagoons. In 1983, the company was permanently closed by federal court order.
As of the 2000 census, 78,327 people lived within three miles of the site and 78 people lived within one mile of the site. The nearest drinking water well for the City of Kent (pop. 86,660) is located more than a mile from the site. This aquifer is much deeper than the contaminated aquifer at the site.
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