Seattle, WA


Seattle, WA

The City of Seattle is home to an estimated 724,745 residents, and it’s located in King County, WA.

This report will help you become better acquainted with Seattle and the surrounding area by addressing the following questions:

  • Are there any hazardous sites in King County, WA?
  • How clean is the air in King County, WA?
  • What’s the average radon level for homes in King County, WA?
  • Is the water in King County, WA safe to drink?

Hazardous Sites near Seattle, WA

There are 10 Superfund sites in King County, WA. Superfund sites, like Pacific Sound Resources in Seattle, WA, are areas that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. If not for the cleanup efforts orchestrated by the EPA, these sites could endanger people living in nearby communities.

The EPA uses the Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) to quantify the risk a contaminated site poses to human health and the environment. Sites assigned HRS scores of 28.5 or greater qualify for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL), and are eligible to receive federal funding for cleanup efforts.

Before the EPA deletes a site from the NPL, it conducts reviews to ensure the cleanup was sufficient. As a result, some sites remain on the active site list long after cleanup activities are complete.

For more information about the Superfund sites located in the Seattle, WA area, be sure to review the map and background information provided below:


Map Legend:

53033

A. Pacific Sound Resources (HRS Score: 71)

The Pacific Sound Resources site is located in Seattle, WA.

Contaminants found at the Pacific Sound Resources site include:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Lead
  • Mercury
53033

B. Western Processing Co., Inc. (HRS Score: 59)

The Western Processing Co., Inc. site is located in Kent, WA.

Contaminants found at the Western Processing Co., Inc. site include:

  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Cadmium
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium
53033

C. Midway Landfill (HRS Score: 54)

The Midway Landfill site is located in Kent, WA.

Contaminants found at the Midway Landfill site include:

  • 1,2-Dichloroethane
  • Manganese
  • Chloroethene (Vinyl Chloride)
53033

D. Seattle Municipal Landfill (Kent Highlands) (HRS Score: 52)

The Seattle Municipal Landfill (Kent Highlands) site is located in Kent, WA.

53033

E. Lockheed West Seattle (HRS Score: 50)

The Lockheed West Seattle site is located in Seattle, WA.

Contaminants found at the Lockheed West Seattle site include:

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Lead
53033

F. Lower Duwamish Waterway (HRS Score: 50)

The Lower Duwamish Waterway site is located in Seattle, WA.

Contaminants found at the Lower Duwamish Waterway site include:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Lead
  • Mercury
53033

G. Quendall Terminals (HRS Score: 50)

The Quendall Terminals site is located in Renton, WA.

53033

H. Pacific Car & Foundry Co. (HRS Score: 42)

The Pacific Car & Foundry Co. site is located in Renton, WA.

Contaminants found at the Pacific Car & Foundry Co. site include:

  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Chromium
  • Lead
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
53033

I. Harbor Island (Lead) (HRS Score: 35)

The Harbor Island (Lead) site is located in Seattle, WA.

Contaminants found at the Harbor Island (Lead) site include:

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
53033

J. Queen City Farms (HRS Score: 34)

The Queen City Farms site is located in Maple Valley, WA.

Contaminants found at the Queen City Farms site include:

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium

Air Quality in the Seattle, WA Area

The two most widespread forms of air pollution are ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot). Exposure to these harmful pollutants, for even just a short period, can have adverse effects on your health.

Thanks to data collected by air monitoring equipment located across the country, the American Lung Association (ALA) is able to assess and track our air quality using three metrics:

  • Ozone
  • Short-term Particle Pollution
  • Year-round Particle Pollution

In their 2019 annual report, the ALA rated the air quality in King County, WA as follows:

Ground-Level
Ozone Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Short-Term
Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Year-Round
Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: Pass/Fail

Radon Levels in Seattle, WA Area

Air quality inside your home can be impacted by a number of factors, including the presence of hazardous substances in building materials (asbestos, lead, formaldehyde, etc.) and local radon levels.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas you cannot see or smell. It can build up inside your home and negatively impact your indoor air quality as well as your health.

To provide a guideline, the EPA assigned one of three zones to each U.S. county and county equivalent:

  • Zone 1 (higher radon levels)
  • Zone 2 (moderate levels)
  • Zone 3 (lower levels)

The average indoor radon reading in King County, WA is predicted to be less than 2 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), so the county has been assigned EPA Radon Zone 3.

EPA Radon Zone

But, it's worth mentioning homes with elevated levels of radon have been found in all three radon zones. So, despite the fact Seattle, WA is in EPA Radon Zone 3, you should have a radon test performed on any home you purchase in the area.

Water Quality in Seattle, WA Area

In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA sets regulatory limits for drinking water contaminants known to cause adverse health effects.

Using data from the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS), we found no violations for regulated contaminants reported for King County, WA, as of the third quarter of 2019.

In addition to setting enforceable standards for harmful contaminants, the EPA also established guidelines to assist public water providers in managing the taste, odor and color of their drinking water.

To find out more about what’s in your drinking water, contact your utility company and request a copy of the latest Consumer Confidence Report.


Sources and Methods

Hazardous Sites: Identified using a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hazardous sites detailed on trendingtowns.com represent sites contained on the National Priorities List (NPL) as of November 25, 2019.  The NPL is the list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories.  All site-related data was sourced from the EPA.

Air Quality: Grades for ozone, short-term particle pollution, and year-round particle pollution were obtained from State of the Air 2019, a report compiled by the American Lung Association.

Radon Zones: Radon zone designations were obtained using a public use dataset provided by the EPA (September 11, 2019).

Water Quality: Drinking water violation data was sourced from the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS), a public use database provided by the EPA.  The dataset included violations submitted to the database as of the third quarter of 2019.

Paul

I’ve moved several times over the years, so I know just how stressful it can be to relocate. I want to help put your mind at ease. That’s why I research and write about all the things I think you should consider when moving to a new town.

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