U.S. EPA to Conduct More Soil Cleanup This Summer/Fall within Town of Northport

EPA is performing additional soil cleanup work at 15 properties within Northport during summer/fall 2022. This includes 14 residential properties and a common use area at the corner of 3rd Street & Columbia. This cleanup work is being done to address threats to people’s health from potential exposure to lead in their soil. This 2022 soil cleanup work builds on previous cleanup work conducted in and around Northport in 2004, 2015, 2018 and 2020.

Contaminated topsoil will be removed – typically down to a depth of 6 or 12 inches – and clean soils will be installed to re-establish the original grades. EPA Region 10 is using an interim action level of 700 parts per million (ppm) of lead in the soil to guide the selection of properties for this year’s cleanup.

The soil cleanup work began during the week of August 15 and is expected to last 8 to 10 weeks. Click here for the EPA’s fact sheet describing this project.

Based on new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and EPA’s published Removal Management Level User’s Guide, EPA Region 10 has also adopted a lower lead removal action level in soil from 700 ppm (parts per million) to 400 ppm. Additional cleanup work may be performed in the future within Northport and Upper Columbia Valley to address properties with lower levels of lead contamination that exceed the new action cleanup level.

Lake Roosevelt Forum

Monitor Upper Columbia Air Quality

Published: Wednesday, 07 September 2022 20:33

The Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) are seeking volunteers to host small PurpleAir monitors at locations near the Upper Columbia River (Lake Roosevelt). Click here to complete a quick questionnaire to see if you’re a good fit to be a host. Selected volunteers will join a citizen science cadre contributing to the health of you and your neighbors.

This is part of a two-year EPA Environmental Justice grant received by CCT. Said tribal consultant Whitney Fraser, “We envision 52 air monitoring stations being distributed as close to the river as possible.”

Data will be collected and shared real-time via the web and mapping technology. It’s a big win for residents affected by annual events like wildfires and dust storms. “At a glance,” said Fraser, “you can see whether air quality near where you live is of concern and whether to take precautions.”

Measuring the size and quantity of airborne particles, monitoring stations are the size of a camp stove. As the numbers increase, the risk to people increases as well. For those suffering from asthma and other respiratory ailments, this type of real-time information can allow people to take actions that limit their exposure to unhealthy air.

Working with the University of Washington, CCT is also trying to discern if it’s possible to identify a distinct “signature” from different readings. For instance, dust storms may have a distinctive ratio of particle size and quantity. Other examples would be wildfires, or industrial emissions from a smelter.

After the two-year grant period, Fraser hopes the network of monitors will remain active. The hard part according to Fraser is getting the volunteers and infrastructure in place. Once installed, they are fairly low-cost to maintain.

Please consider being a part of this important community-based air quality monitoring program.

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