Spokane, WA


Spokane, WA

The City of Spokane is home to an estimated 217,108 residents, and it’s located in Spokane County, WA.

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

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

Hazardous Sites near Spokane, WA

There are nine Superfund sites in Spokane County, WA. Superfund sites, like General Electric Co. (Spokane Apparatus Service Shop) in Spokane, 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 Spokane, WA area, be sure to review the map and background information provided below:


Map Legend:

53063

A. General Electric Co. (Spokane Apparatus Service Shop) (HRS Score: 58)

The General Electric Co. (Spokane Apparatus Service Shop) site is located in Spokane, WA.

Contaminants found at the General Electric Co. (Spokane Apparatus Service Shop) site include:

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium
53063

B. Grain Handling Facility At Freeman (HRS Score: 50)

The Grain Handling Facility At Freeman site is located in Freeman, WA.

53063

C. Colbert Landfill (HRS Score: 42)

The Colbert Landfill site is located in Spokane, WA.

Contaminants found at the Colbert Landfill site include:

  • Trichloroethene
  • 1,1-Dichloroethene
  • 1,1,1-Trichloroethane
  • Chloromethane
  • Tetrachloroethene
53063

D. Kaiser Aluminum (Mead Works) (HRS Score: 38)

The Kaiser Aluminum (Mead Works) site is located in Mead, WA.

The EPA found dangerous levels of Cyanide, and Fluoride at the Kaiser Aluminum (Mead Works) site.

53063

E. Mica Landfill (HRS Score: 35)

The Mica Landfill site is located in Mica, WA.

Contaminants found at the Mica Landfill site include:

  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Benzene
  • Lead
  • Mercury
53063

F. North Market Street (HRS Score: 33)

The North Market Street site is located in Spokane, WA.

Contaminants found at the North Market Street site include:

  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Toluene
  • Xylene (Mixed Isomers)
  • Ethylbenzene
53063

G. Fairchild Air Force Base (4 Waste Areas) (HRS Score: 32)

The Fairchild Air Force Base (4 Waste Areas) site is located in Spokane, WA.

Contaminants found at the Fairchild Air Force Base (4 Waste Areas) site include:

  • Benzene
  • Cadmium
  • Chloroform
  • Not Provided
  • Aroclor 1254
53063

H. Greenacres Landfill (HRS Score: 29)

The Greenacres Landfill site is located in Spokane County, WA.

Contaminants found at the Greenacres Landfill site include:

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Chromium
  • Lead
  • Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)Phthalate
53063

I. Northside Landfill (HRS Score: 29)

The Northside Landfill site is located in Spokane, WA.

Contaminants found at the Northside Landfill site include:

  • Trichloroethane (Mixed Isomers)
  • Tetrachloroethene
  • Trichloroethene
  • Trans-1,2-Dichloroethene

Air Quality in the Spokane, 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 Spokane 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

DNC (Data Not Collected): Data on associated pollutants were not collected in this county or county equivalent.
INC (Incomplete): Associated pollutants are being monitored in this county or county equivalent, but data were insufficient to assign a grade.

Radon Levels in Spokane, 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 Spokane County, WA is predicted to be higher than 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), so the county has been assigned EPA Radon Zone 1.

EPA Radon Zone

The EPA Recommends acting to reduce your home's radon level if it's measured at 4 pCi/L or greater. So, if you're thinking about purchasing a home in Spokane, WA, you should strongly consider having a radon test performed.

Water Quality in Spokane, 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 Spokane 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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