Proposed Abstract Title

Results and project retrospectives from over a decade of removing toxic creosote-treated pilings and overwater structures from Puget Sound

Presenter/Author Information

Jordanna Black, WA State DNRFollow

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Remediation

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Many experts have said that Puget Sound is dying the death of a thousand cuts. One of these “cuts” is the on-going contaminate source of derelict creosote-treated materials leaching toxic chemical compounds, most notably polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, into the aquatic environment. In 2004, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources created the Creosote Removal Program (CRP) to lead removal efforts of derelict creosote-treated pilings and overwater structures from marine and estuarine waters throughout Puget Sound. Without a comprehensive, centralized program to remove derelict creosote-treated materials, these pilings and structures would persist until they inevitably break apart and subsequently wash onto beaches or other sensitive environments where contaminate leaching can be more concentrated and the effects upon marine organisms more pronounced. In order to systematically and efficiently undertake removal efforts, the CRP has developed a comprehensive inventory of derelict treated pilings, Best Management Practices (BMPs) to guide removal efforts, a cost effective contracting process, and obtained programmatic permits all of which enable the CRP to prioritize and remove an average of eleven hundred and fifty pilings a year. To date, the program has removed 13,873 creosote-treated pilings, surpassing our Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) Near-Term Action goal of removing 13,000 pilings by 2020. An additional 275,872 ft2 of overwater structure has been removed, enhancing light penetration necessary for aquatic vegetation and removing impediments to nearshore sediment transport processes. Despite meeting our PSP goal, there are still over 16,000 derelict treated pilings polluting Puget Sound. This presentation will look at how the program has been successful with a discussion on the how sites are prioritized, the value of partnerships, setting realistic targets, and future goals. We will also discuss the challenges the program has faced and how we’re adapting based on experiences from past projects.

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Results and project retrospectives from over a decade of removing toxic creosote-treated pilings and overwater structures from Puget Sound

2016SSEC

Many experts have said that Puget Sound is dying the death of a thousand cuts. One of these “cuts” is the on-going contaminate source of derelict creosote-treated materials leaching toxic chemical compounds, most notably polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, into the aquatic environment. In 2004, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources created the Creosote Removal Program (CRP) to lead removal efforts of derelict creosote-treated pilings and overwater structures from marine and estuarine waters throughout Puget Sound. Without a comprehensive, centralized program to remove derelict creosote-treated materials, these pilings and structures would persist until they inevitably break apart and subsequently wash onto beaches or other sensitive environments where contaminate leaching can be more concentrated and the effects upon marine organisms more pronounced. In order to systematically and efficiently undertake removal efforts, the CRP has developed a comprehensive inventory of derelict treated pilings, Best Management Practices (BMPs) to guide removal efforts, a cost effective contracting process, and obtained programmatic permits all of which enable the CRP to prioritize and remove an average of eleven hundred and fifty pilings a year. To date, the program has removed 13,873 creosote-treated pilings, surpassing our Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) Near-Term Action goal of removing 13,000 pilings by 2020. An additional 275,872 ft2 of overwater structure has been removed, enhancing light penetration necessary for aquatic vegetation and removing impediments to nearshore sediment transport processes. Despite meeting our PSP goal, there are still over 16,000 derelict treated pilings polluting Puget Sound. This presentation will look at how the program has been successful with a discussion on the how sites are prioritized, the value of partnerships, setting realistic targets, and future goals. We will also discuss the challenges the program has faced and how we’re adapting based on experiences from past projects.