Boeing ‘must pay fair share’ to Duwamish cleanup says new lawsuit from Port of Seattle

Jul 19, 2022, 1:46 PM | Updated: Jul 20, 2022, 7:41 am

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)...

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

The Port of Seattle is demanding Boeing cover a bigger share of the Superfund Cleanup in the Lower Duwamish Waterway in a civil lawsuit against the aerospace company.

The port has worked with Boeing, the City of Seattle, and King County to clean up the waterway for the past two decades, and all four entities have shared the cost of that cleanup. Now though the Port wants Boeing to reimburse the Port for millions of dollars that they have spent over the last 22 years “based on its status as the largest industrial manufacturer responsible for toxic waste in the river.”

Duwamish River Park opens after decades of redevelopment

In the suit, the Port of Seattle claims that Boeing pumped polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) from numerous transformer vaults (holding leaking transformers) from its facility located on the Duwamish river.

In their study of the river, the Port has found that the PCB levels in the Duwamish River were nearly 500,000 times higher than PCB cleanup levels set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which they say lead directly to the environmental toxicity and designation as a superfund site to clean it up for the past two decades.

“The Port cannot accept an arrangement whereby local taxpayers would be stuck effectively subsidizing Boeing’s cleanup bill,” the Port says in their suit. “Boeing has gleaned billions of dollars in profits over the past several decades partly through externalizing its waste disposal costs by dumping wastes into the Lower Duwamish River.”

Drawing on local taxpayers to cover Boeing’s obligations, they argue, is “unjust and limits the availability of public funding” which is needed to support other environmental, employment, and environmental justice initiatives in local communities.

In response to the lawsuit, a spokesperson from Boeing released a statement about the announcement of the lawsuit, and their past joint efforts to clean up the river.

“As part of this joint effort, for the past eight years, Boeing has been participating in an ongoing voluntary allocation process with the Port and many other parties, where an experienced mediator and Superfund expert evaluated information on Lower Duwamish Waterway contamination and assigned shares that reflect each party’s responsibility for cleanup costs. Boeing had agreed to accept its assigned share as part of an overall negotiated resolution of this matter. We hope that, rather than resorting to litigation and press releases, the Port of Seattle will take appropriate responsibility for its past contributions to the contamination of the Duwamish, and constructively support this important environmental cleanup.”

Local News

Mt. Rainier death...

Associated Press

Washington man climbing Mount Rainier dies near summit

A Washington state man who was trying to summit Mount Rainier this week collapsed and died near the top of the mountain.

2 days ago

biden crisis averted...

Zeke Miller and Chris Megerian

Biden celebrates a ‘crisis averted’ in Oval Office address on bipartisan debt ceiling deal

President Joe Biden celebrated a “crisis averted” in his first speech to the nation from the Oval Office Friday evening.

2 days ago

Ferry cancellations...

Micki Gamez

Ferry cancellations, delays causing frustration among island residents

Island resident Valerie McKnight says she's frustrated with the ferry system because of hefty delays and daily cancellations.

2 days ago

Montlake SR 520 closed...

Nate Connors

Montlake Boulevard SR 520 on-ramps, exits closed this weekend

SR 520 will not be accessible via Montlake Boulevard over the weekend, as both on and off-ramp access will be closed.

2 days ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

Deedee Sun, KIRO 7 News

Two Northshore elementary principals on leave after alleged cocaine use

High on cocaine with a loaded gun – that’s what Redmond police say they saw when they confronted a local elementary school principal at a QFC.

2 days ago

Nordstrom patagonia lawsuit...

Bill Kaczaraba

Patagonia accuses Nordstrom of selling fake merch, files lawsuit

Patagonia is accusing Nordstrom of selling fake merchandise and has filed a lawsuit against the Seattle-based department store chain.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Boeing ‘must pay fair share’ to Duwamish cleanup says new lawsuit from Port of Seattle