Seattle Area Leaders Announce Plans To Merge Duwamish River Clean Up Efforts

a 2012 file photo of scrap metal that environmentalists say was contributing to pollution in the Duwamish River. | credit: Katie Campbell

a 2012 file photo of scrap metal that environmentalists say was contributing to pollution in the Duwamish River. | credit: Katie Campbell

 

By Kim Malcolm, KUOW

 

SEATTLE — King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced plans Monday to combine efforts to clean up of the Duwamish and Green River watershed.

The strategy calls for coordinating the work of governments, non-profits and businesses already involved in the clean-up.

Constantine said bringing all the players together will improve the chances that the cleanup will work, permanently.

“We can begin to get more value for each dollar, to get more clean up, to get better environmental outcomes, and economic outcomes,” he said.

No new money was announced with the new plan, although officials said it will build upon 524-million dollars already committed by the City of Seattle and King County.

The watershed stretches 93 miles, from the Cascade Mountains to Elliott Bay in downtown Seattle. The Duwamish River flows through some of the most industrialized areas of South Seattle. It was declared a superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2001.

This was first reported for KUOW.

Macklemore joins group demanding Duwamish river clean-up

 

Macklemore-slideby GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

SEATTLE – A newly formed group of community leaders who say they represent residents, Tribes, workers, fishing families and others, is demanding a better cleanup plan for the Duwamish River.

The group kicked off its “River for All” campaign with a new billboard on Highway 99 South where it crosses the Duwamish. It features their celebrity member, Seattle hip hop artist Macklemore.

Macklemore released a statement on his website, saying “We are Seattle. No bridge, boundaries or invisible man-made lines divide us. This is our home, our people and our community. This is our city’s only river.”

Group member BJ Cummings said the current plan proposed by the EPA properly addresses removal or capping of hot pockets of contamination in the river but calls for a natural recovery method for less contaminated sites. That depends on the river use its natural downriver migration of clean silt to cover the toxic areas over time.

Cummings said that is not good enough to protect the health of the residents along the Lower Duwamish who already face higher pollution exposure rates than most parts of the city.

The EPA is working on a response but has not issued it yet.

Resources

Duwamishcleanup.org

EPA Cleanup Plan

Win a kayaking trip with Macklemore