Workers this week began cleaning up contamination at the former City Parcel site in North Spokane, part of a major remediation project expected to cost roughly $750,000.
A contractor first will remove asbestos from the 18,400-square-foot building, 708 N. Cook St., before the structure is demolished, according to a Washington state Department of Ecology news release. Soils contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) then will be removed.
The department previously reached a $277,000 settlement with current and past building owners. The state will pick up the rest of the tab, said Seth Preston, a spokesman for the department.
The parcel became contaminated with PCBs before 1980, when the building was used to repair and recycle electrical transformers.
Dust control and air quality will be monitored during demolition, according to the department. Work is expected to be completed by August, after which a 6-foot-high fence will be installed.
“It’s absolutely vital to clean up these PCBs to protect the Spokane-Rathdrum Prairie aquifer as well as the Spokane River itself,” Mike Hibbler, who manages the department’s Spokane Toxics Cleanup Program, said in the release. “PCBs are persistent in the environment. They pose a serious threat to people who live and work here.”
NRC Environmental Services, which has an office in Spokane, and Wyser Construction, of Snohomish, Wash., will perform the work, Preston said.