An independent assessment of WSDOT’s environmental testing of the Montlake Market and gas station properties has some good news for the community ahead of WSDOT’s open house on Wednesday, January 30 (Details: St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm). More info on meeting here.
The report’s author observed WSDOT’s environmental testing conducted in December, took split samples of the drilling materials, reviewed WSDOT’s sampling results, and has assessed the potential risks of the contamination levels on the property. Based on the sampling to date, there is no environmental justification for demolishing the market or closing the gas station to clean-up the contamination that WSDOT has identified. The levels of gasoline-range petroleum hydrocarbons exceeding Model Toxics Control Act Method A clean-up levels are “limited to the Gas Station Parcel.” The assessment concludes that, based on existing data, it appears clean-up techniques routinely employed in gas station contamination clean-up actions can be used here to remediate the soil and groundwater contamination under state law, while leaving the existing buildings intact, the Market in operation, and even avoiding closure of the gas station, except perhaps on a short term basis.
A copy of the report’s executive summary follows below, and a copy of the full report is posted here.
Operations on the north tax parcel (King County Tax Parcel No. 8805901085, the “Gas Station Parcel”) include a gas station building and three underground storage tanks (USTs) and pump islands. The south tax parcel (King County Tax Parcel No. 8805901090, the “Market Parcel”) contains the Montlake Market supermarket building (Market). The small southwest triangular shaped tax parcel (King County Tax Parcel No. 88059010170, the “Triangle Parcel) is part of the parking lot for the Market. The Market Parcel and the Triangle Parcel together are referred to as the Market Properties to distinguish them from the Gas Station Parcel.
Based on the soil and groundwater sampling and analysis conducted on and near the parcels by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), there is no evidence of soil contamination on the Market Properties that contains the Market and cell towers. Soil contamination (petroleum related) appears to be limited to the Gas Station Parcel where the gas station and associated UST system are located. Impacts beyond these parcels appear to be minimal and limited to areas north of the Gas Station Parcel. Therefore, based on the available data, soil contamination is limited to the Gas Station Parcel, is not a significant threat to the Market on the Market Properties, and there is no need to demolish or impact the Market building or its operations to remediate the petroleum soil contamination on the Gas Station Parcel to the north. And, given the existing information, it is also likely that the known soil and groundwater contamination can be remediated under MTCA without having to close the gas station. Preliminary figures developed from WSDOT’s contractor’s January 2019 Third Supplemental Phase II report showing a summary of both properties and off-properties soil and groundwater sampling results are provided in Attachment 1.
This information provides a strong backstop for any speculation regarding the extent of the contamination on the property. The good news is that the environmental contamination WSDOT has identified should have no bearing on whether WSDOT can save the Market, the Market property’s cell towers, and even the gas station from the department’s SR 520 construction plans.
WSDOT has indicated they will provide a “property soil-testing update” at Wednesday’s open house, in an attempt to “be as transparent as possible.” They will also be providing design scenarios for avoiding the market and limiting construction impacts on the property in an effort to adhere to the Washington State Legislature’s directive for the department to preserve the market “to the maximum extent practicable.”