Kite flyers, picnickers, and Ultimate players treasure Seattle’s Gas Works Park--but beneath its sparkling grass lies a toxic legacy of its industrial past. Puget Sound Energy is now working with public officials to clean up the mess.
The famous towers and pipes of Gas Works Park were once part of a coal gasification plant that lit up early Seattleites’ homes. The landscape architect who designed the park tried to clean up the pollutants left behind. But there weren’t enough tools in the 1970's toolbox. So, today, there are still benzene, arsenic, lead, and other pollutants in the soil, groundwater, and lake sediment.
Ching-Pi Wang, with the Department of Ecology, says the city of Seattle is taking a first step to get arsenic out of the groundwater this spring.
"The cleanup technique is to install piping in the ground that will be used to inject a certain type of chemicals that will degrade the arsenic," Wang said.
Wang says he hopes the complete cleanup plan will be ready this fall.
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