Daily Archives: January 11, 2010

How do you get a million gallons of tar out of the ground?

A panel of experts will be asking this very question during a three-day meeting about the future of the Wyckoff Superfund site.

Called together by the state Department of Ecology, the eight-member group will explore new ways to remove – rather than just contain – the estimated million gallons of creosote and other chemical compounds that remain in the site’s soil and groundwater.

The group will hold a public meeting on Wednesday at IslandWood to share some of the ideas under discussion. It’s from 7 to 9 p.m.

“There are environmental consequences to leaving creosote on-site,” said Tim Nord, Ecology’s manager of land- and aquatics-cleanup. “And there’s a huge cost of running the site for a hundred years.”

Ecology is slated to takeover the site’s management from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has administered the site for more than two decades.

After failing to find a workable solution for extracting large amounts of contaminants, the EPA has settled on a cap-and-contain method for the site.

But Ecology says such a plan carries too much risk and could carry maintenance costs of $1 million a year for as long as the contaminants remain a danger to humans and the environment.

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