SUNNYSIDE — Clean-up of soil at Simplot Growers Solutions, located at 300 S. First St., is planned by the Washington State Department of Ecology.
Ecology is seeking comments from the public before the clean-up commences. Comments are being sought until July 25, and people interested in reviewing documents related to the contamination at the site are available at the Sunnyside Library at 621 Grant Ave.
In the 1960s, Simplot Soilbuilders used the property for distributing fertilizer, pesticides and soil amendments, and there was a gravel area where fertilizer sprayers were rinsed, according to Joye Redfield-Wilder of Ecology’s Yakima office.
There wasn’t a liner or container used to collect what was rinsed from the sprayers.
“They didn’t have the same environmental regulations,” Redfield-Wilder said, noting it takes time to assess sites that were historically unregulated due to a lack of environmental laws.
In the 1990s, employees stopped using the area, and in 2012, contaminated soil was removed from the site, Redfield-Wilder said.
The year prior, there were several buildings removed from the property, including a warehouse, offices and storage tank.
These steps were taken after Ecology found agricultural chemicals, diesel and gasoline contaminating soil and groundwater on the property in 2007 and 2008, Redfield-Wilder stated.
She said the agreed order is important, allowing Ecology and Simplot to work together to remediate the clean-up efforts.
Ecology is planning a remedial investigation to determine the extent of the contamination.
A feasibility study will be prepared to outline different options, costs and timelines for further clean-up, Redfield-Wilder said.
All the effort benefits the community, the property owner and the future of the property, she said.