Radioactive Contamination at Magnuson Park

Follow-up report, Thursday, May 30th:  The Seattle Times posted an article about issues discussed at this meeting:    #mce_temp_url#

On Wednesday, May 29th, there will be an important meeting to ask questions about clean-up of radioactive contamination at Magnuson Park.  There will be an Open House beginning at 5 PM when you may submit questions, with the meeting and response to questions beginning at 7 PM. The meeting will be at The Mountaineers (7700 Sand Point Way NE – turn left after entering the main gate.)

Contaminated areas include the Arena Sports and Magnuson Athletic Club (Building 27.)  Representatives of the Navy, Seattle Parks, and the Washington Department of Ecology will be present at the meeting on Wednesday evening, along with 46th District Representative Gerry Pollet.

Magnuson Park has radioactive contamination in the soils around, and the building attached to, the hangar housing Arena Sports and the Magnuson Park Athletic Club. There is also contamination in and around Building 2, which had been the indoor soccer facility prior to Arena Sports moving. Contamination above safe levels includes radioactive Radium, Strontium and Cesium, in addition to pesticides and lead. The radioactive contamination stems from Navy use of radium paint for dials when the Park was Sand Point Naval Air Station. Contaminated areas include soils around the buildings and under parking areas, and may extend to the Lake Washington shoreline sediments where storm drains discharge.

You can send your comments or questions to: ching-pi@ecy.wa.gov Send to this e-mail if you want to submit questions ahead of time rather than in-person from 5 to 7 PM on Wednesday evening.

For more information, go to the Dept. of Ecology’s website.

You may also contact Rep. Gerry Pollet, our 46th District legislator, via the e-mail or toll-free numbers listed on his website. The recommendations Rep. Pollet has made thus far are:

1. Cleanup to meet our state’s stricter cancer risk cleanup standards to reduce exposures and increase cleanup as appropriate for a public park – where children play and future park users and residents may have vegetable or herb gardens;

2. Investigation of whether there is contamination of the sediments in Lake Washington around the storm sewer outfalls and along the drain lines;

3. Not trucking wastes on detour routes, or when there are backups, during Sand Point Way NE construction;

4. Public input into development of a Public Participation Plan by Washington’s Department of Ecology (including notice and signage about the contamination); and,

5. Ecology taking regulatory authority over the clean-up.

2 Replies to “Radioactive Contamination at Magnuson Park”

  1. I am not able to be there, but would love to hear any numbers about the levels of radiation present. How far above the legal limit allowed is it? How far does its effects extend into the gym and soccer area?

    1. Jason, thank you for your question. I don’t think that all questions were answered at the meeting on May 29th; there will be more investigation and discussion. The Seattle Times newspaper posted a brief report of the meeting, and Rep. Gerry Pollet will also have info. Use the link from this page to his website, and you can also sign up for his e-mail notices.

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