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Seattle Public Utilities Asks for Guidance on the Protecting Seattle’s Waterways Plan

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is preparing a long-term plan to reduce the amount of raw sewage and polluted storm water that flows into Seattle’s creeks, lakes, the Ship Canal, and Puget Sound when sewer pipes are overloaded due to heavy rainfall. SPU has developed options and will be preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze potential effects of the various options. They are now seeking input on the issues that people want to see addressed in the EIS.

Information on the plan can be found at www.seattle.gov/CSO. You are invited to attend an EIS Scoping open house on Monday, June 3, 2013 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at Seattle City Hall (Bertha Knight Landes Room), 600 4th Avenue, where you will be able to provide input. You can also provide

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input online at the website shown above or by mail to SPU. Address it “attn: Betty Meyer, SEPA Responsible Official, Seattle Municipal Tower, Suite 4900, P. O. Box 34018, Seattle 98124-4018.” Comments must be submitted by June 20th.

FNC asked about use of the North Transfer Station as a site, and received the following response from Trish Rhay, Drainage and Wastewater Director:

Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU) Protecting Seattle’s Waterways Plan will select the type of CSO Control Project that will be constructed, but it does not include site selection. SPU will identify specific sites for its recommended CSO Control facilities during the project-level design phase, which would begin after 2015. SPU will conduct a thorough siting analysis to select the most optimal site and will engage affected stakeholders during the siting process to ensure that the interests of the community are thoroughly considered. SPU will prepare a project-specific environmental review during the siting process to evaluate temporary construction impacts and long-term environmental impacts.

Although the Protecting Seattle’s Waterways Plan will not select sites for its recommended CSO Control Project, we have analyzed representative sites in order to assess environmental impacts for our EIS. SPU investigated constructing an underground storage tank at the North Transfer Station site; however, schedule and operational impacts made it impracticable. SPU must obtain EPA/Ecology approval of its Plan and a project specific engineering report before projects can be constructed. SPU’s Plan will be submitted for approval May 30, 2015, and the Project specific Engineering Report would be submitted for approval 2~3 years later. The North Transfer Station facility design will be completed in 2014 and construction will be completed in 2016.

Also, due to the size of the CSO Storage facility and hydraulic constraints, the only location where the tank could be sited would be under the Reuse and Recycle facility. Locating the CSO Storage facility under the Reuse and Recycle facility would impact operation of both facilities.

Trish Rhay, Drainage and Wastewater Director, Seattle Public Utilities, 700 5th Ave. Suite 4900, PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA 98124-4018 (206) 386-1832

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