A Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment of Langus Riverfront Park, Everett, Washington
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The smelting process in older smelters resulted in the release of heavy metals and oxides into the air. Remediation has begun at a former smelter site in Everett, Washington. The site has seen extremely high levels of arsenic and lead in the soil. Surrounding areas tested have also shown high levels of these contaminants. Langus Riverfront Park near the site has never been tested. A Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessment was conducted to evaluate the likelihood of arsenic and lead contamination from the smelter plume and determine the levels of contamination from these elements in park soils. As part of the Phase I assessment a records review was conducted to determine the site history of the park. The review determined that prior to being a park it was a primitive campsite with a boat launch. The area was also used to store sand dredged from the River. The review also revealed that the dominant wind direction in Everett is straight at the park from the smelter. The wind direction gives reason enough to assume that there is contamination from the smelter at the park’s location. The Phase II (sampling) portion of the project was conducted by taking 11 total samples from different media around the park. The samples consisted of 10 near-surface soil samples and a water sample from the adjacent river. All of the samples were tested by an independent commercial laboratory. The results show lead and arsenic levels in all but two samples were well within background limits. The two samples taken from near a two-inch drainpipe on the riverbank had contaminant concentration 2 to 15 times greater than the other samples (although still below required-cleanup levels). The Phase I investigation provided enough information to determine that there could be contamination from the smelter at the park. It also gave insight into why most surface samples showed areas with only background concentrations of contamination due to the dumping of dredged sand on top of the park location. The Phase II investigation revealed that there was likely contamination at the park caused by the smelter; however, it also revealed that the dredged sand was acting as a buffer between a possible highly contaminated layer and the surface thus protecting humans from exposure. Further investigation should be done to determine the actual depth of the contaminated layer around the park and to determine the maximum level of contamination. The results of those studies could be used to determine if remediation of the park is required to keep people safe.