Tag Archives: Public Health Seattle & King County

Cleaning up in South Seattle

AutoRecy_SSeattle_Bef5_Mar2015

Before

AutoRecy_SSeattle_After1_Mar2015

After

What did it take to get this auto dismantling business to stop storing hundreds of gallons of hazardous wastes outside with no protection from the elements?

Stepping onto this site you wouldn’t know from the dark stains of automotive fluids on the property, the potential fire hazard of the 500 gallons of used oil that was stored near an electrical panel and the storm water that ran off the property onto neighboring sites, that nine different environmental and health agencies had separately visited this site to give technical, non-enforcement help.

Despite the best efforts of various agencies, the business owner continued to ignore their advice.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. The numerous agencies started coordinating with each other through the Interagency Compliance Team (ICT). ICT works with the various agencies to develop a strategy and then starts implementing interventions. In this case, the Seattle Fire Department, Seattle Public Utilities and OSHA issued citations; Public Health – Seattle & King County issued a Notice of Violation and Notice and Order to the property owner.

The result? Nine hundred gallons of hazardous waste were removed from the property.  The business owner stopped operating his business and cleaned up the property. Storm water pollution and environmental impacts to neighboring properties also stopped as did the continued chemical exposures to the community and the environment from the property.

Under the umbrella of ICT, representatives from nine agencies coordinated with the business and the property owner to get the site cleaned up: the Washington State Patrol, Seattle Fire, King County Storm Water, King County Industrial Waste, Department of Ecology, Public Health – Seattle & King County, Seattle Public Utilities, Department of Ecology, Division of Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA), and the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County.

Thanks to these agencies for working together to keep businesses on track so we can all breathe easier.