Reminder: Deadline for Unocal clean-up comment period Monday

Edmonds City Councilmember Diane Buckshnis wants to remind everyone that the deadline for commenting on the Unocal clean-up plan is Monday, Aug. 31, and asked us to share her comment with My Edmonds News readers. You can read Larry Vogel’s coverage of the Aug. 20 Ecology briefing on the project in Edmonds here  and watch our video of the presentation here.

Comments can be emailed to David South at

Subject: Unocal Clean-up comment period ending August 31

Hello Mr. South.
At the Unocal open house last week, you discussed where the extensive contamination testing and cleanup has been conducted over the many years of cleanup on the Unocal site. Unfortunately, much testing was done in the “marsh proper” causing concern that contamination could be present in the marsh and we wouldn’t know since no one has tested it. The concern becomes the persistence of petroleum and arsenic contamination and the historic way contamination was managed (eg. not very well and without much thought for marsh health) and that it is possible that, historically, contamination could have gotten into the marsh.

As we know, in terms of the preliminary drawings from the daylighting of the creek channel, the channel will extend south from the existing ditch directly onto the Unocal property for about 750 feet before turning west to come out under the BNSF tracks and across Marina Beach.

The current testing wells indicate this area is now “clean”, meaning it meets Dept of Ecology’s standards for a light industrial use BUT NOT necessarily for a habitat of fish use. For this reason, the final feasibility study on daylighting the creek is recommending that 750 feet of new creek is lined with a high density liner to ensure a new creek channel would not become contaminated with old, remnant contamination. However, having this system in place, does NOT negate the need to collect sediment samples in the Marsh to ‘certify’ that past Unocal operations had no effect on the Marsh as we all know that contaminants do not respect boundaries.

Because this project is being reviewed and studied by many environmentalist and members of WRIA8, it would seem shortsighted on the part of DOE to NOT require Chevron/Unocal to collect offsite sediment samples in the Marsh to confirm there are no residual contaminants.

In summary, it is imperative that that DOE ensure that the Chevron/Unocal cleanup is done (and signed-off by the State) after sufficient testing has been done in the Marsh to ensure that contaminants that can affect the salmon recovery are gone so that this project can and will be successful and benefit salmon recovery in the Edmonds Marsh, as well as the restoration of the wildlife estuary.

Diane Buckshnis
Edmonds City Council Representative for WRIA8 Salmon Recovery Council


One Reply to “Reminder: Deadline for Unocal clean-up comment period Monday”

  1. Council Member Buchshins,
    Thank you for your dedicated work ensuring the clean up of the Unocal site is done properly. Petrochemicals and other toxins are truly a threat to human and environmental health. Hopefully we can get this site properly cleaned up as well as prevent additional contamination in our beautiful city.


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