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Open house on groundwater contamination set for Algona on June 13
For the Reporter
The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) invites the public to an open house next week in Algona about the ongoing investigation into groundwater contamination that has spread from property in Auburn owned by The Boeing Co. into parts of Algona and Auburn.
The open house is from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 13 at the Filipino American Community Hall, 103 6th Ave. N., Algona.
Ecology directs the investigation, which is conducted and paid for by Boeing. Investigators conduct studies to find the location, size and impacts of this underground contamination, which includes solvent chemicals, primarily trichloroethene (TCE) and vinyl chloride (VC), from past releases.
The open house also will feature an question and answer session at 7 p.m. People also will be able to visit several information displays and meet with experts from Ecology, the Washington Department of Health and Public Health – Seattle & King County. The state and county health agencies are assisting Ecology in assessing the environmental information coming from the various studies.
Each display will focus on recent, current and upcoming studies in Algona, which are part of the overall investigation. People may arrive and depart at any time during the open house. There will be no formal presentation.
Representatives of Boeing, the City of Algona and their environmental consultants also will be available.
Topics available for viewing and discussion during the open house include:
• Results of an April 2013 study of underground water at 49 locations in parts of Algona showed no presence of solvent chemicals at 34 of these locations. Solvent chemicals were detected in water samples from 15 of the sampling sites, mainly near the Chicago Avenue ditch between Boundary Boulevard and 9th Ave. N. The study examined shallow groundwater, from the water table to 25 feet below ground.
• A study is under way to determine whether contamination in groundwater under homes in northeastern Algona is producing vapor that could be entering indoor spaces where it could affect residents' health.
• A study this summer in Algona will determine whether solvent chemicals in groundwater enter surface water such as city drainage ditches and ponds in private yards. An earlier study found these contaminants in Chicago Avenue ditch water.
• The state Department of Health has issued a report regarding water in the Chicago Avenue ditch.
People can sign up for email updates about current and upcoming developments in the investigation. Ecology also maintains updated information online at: fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp.