Experts talking today about Eagle Harbor site

A three-day workshop to explore possible cleanup technologies that could be used at the Wyckoff Superfund site on Bainbridge Island got under way this morning.

Officials at the Washington Department of Ecology are looking for ways to remove or lock up the massive amount of creosote contamination that seeped into the ground during the first half of the 20th century.

Seth Preston, communications manager for Ecology’s Toxics Cleanup Program, is live-blogging from the meeting today. Another staffer is tweeting #wyckoff from a special Twitter account.

Seth’s presence at this meeting is valuable for those of us interested in this site on Eagle Harbor — one of the most complex and ecologically important sites in the Puget Sound region.

The EPA was on the verge turning over management of the site — including an ongoing pump-and-treat system — to Ecology. The two agencies agreed to delay the transfer for 18 months while state officials search for a more stable solution.

Ecology had two concerns about taking over the site: First, the ongoing pumping would do little to remove the large quantity of contamination in an environmentally sensitive area. Second, the state would be picking up the bill for a project that would cost millions of dollars over time with no end in sight.

Because of Seth’s good work, I won’t repeat the information he has provided in multiple locations on Ecology Web sites. Instead, I’ll just point you to some of the information available:

Reporter Tristan Baurick’s story in today’s Kitsap Sun

Ecology’s Web site on the “generational remedy” for the Wyckoff site.

Expert presentations from the ongoing workshop in PDF format. Look for “NEW!” under “Expert Panel Workshop.”

Seth Preston’s ongoing blog and Twitter feed

EPA’s Wyckoff Eagle Harbor Web site

Watching Our Water Ways

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