The Quendall Terminals site is fenced off and signage warns folks from approaching. But property owners and EPA want to clean it up and making it livable, shopable, enjoyable Lake Washington waterfront property. Staff photo 2019/Haley Ausbun

The Quendall Terminals site is fenced off and signage warns folks from approaching. But property owners and EPA want to clean it up and making it livable, shopable, enjoyable Lake Washington waterfront property. Staff photo 2019/Haley Ausbun

EPA takes big step towards Quendall Terminals cleanup

The contaminated site is one of the largest undeveloped portions of Lake Washington waterfront

After years of environmental considerations and back-and-forth, the Quendall Terminals site, a Lake Washington waterfront property with years of contamination in the soil and water from creosote manufacturing and crude oil storage, is seeing a major step forward in cleanup and development.

This week Seattle office of the Environmental Protection Agency released a final plan for the cleanup, which is estimated to cost $106 million.

“It is exciting for us in a number of ways. It’s a step in the process, and a pretty big step, actually,” one of the property owners Robert Cugini said. “We’ve been working on it a long time.”

Cugini has been pushing to cleanup and redevelop for over 35 years, his father also worked on it before him. For a long time the Department of Ecology monitored and planned the cleanup, but then asked EPA to take over. This restarted the cleanup evaluation and planning. The site has been on the EPA’s Emphasis List of Superfund sites, that need immediate attention, since December 2017.

EPA Regional Administrator Chris Hladick stated that Quendall property is a potential gem, and that the Superfund designation has made a large difference in speeding up the cleaning process. He stated the EPA was excited to move forward with the overdue cleanup.

“Over the last three years we’ve been able to focus on Quendall to both speed the cleanup and maximize the area available for redevelopment,” Hladic stated in a press release. “This is a great day.”

The property is considered one of the largest areas of Lake Washington’s shores that is yet to be developed. Property owners have plans for the location that could include a small waterfront park, housing, retail and restaurants.

While Cugini’s not thrilled by the price tag of the cleanup, he is looking forward to the next step, the pre-design study, that will bring more clarity to the exact cleanup costs. That is expected to begin this fall and complete in 2021.

Cugini and neighboring Kennydale residents’ concerns were voiced during a public comment period at the end of 2019, as previously reported by Renton Reporter.

A few changes were made to the plan as a result of those discussions, including speeding the determination of cleanup costs, which could possibly lower costs for the owners. But they did not change the type of cleanup tools EPA plans to use, which includes smoldering combustion, cement encasement and soil caps for the contamination, which has continued to very slowly spread through the property’s groundwater. (Neither groundwater nor Lake Washington are used as a drinking water source for the city.)

The EPA has responded to concerns brought up during public comment in it’s Record of Decision, which is available here. The response to public comments starts at page 200 of the PDF.

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