Water Board votes for enforceable limits

On June 3 the Water Board voted to put back in place enforceable numeric limits for Outfalls 8 and 9 at SSFL. Boeing had requested a year ago and, over the objections of the community and legislators, received conversion of those limits to unenforceable “benchmarks,” violation of which would result in no fines. The decision to reinstate enforceable limits occurred after it was revealed that the apparent promise Boeing had made the year before to simultaneously do contaminated soil removal (Interim Source Removal Act, or ISRA) with Engineered Natural Treatment Systems (ENTS) to capture contamination that might be mobilized by the excavation had been breached, and ENTS not put in. Furthermore, Boeing appeared to be trying to hide from the Board and public the performance data which showed that by failing to put in the ENTS as promised, the number of exceedances doubled and the magnitude of the highest exceedances increased substantially.

The Board also ordered Boeing to come back in 3 months with a Work Plan to now do what they had promised a year ago–how to integrate ENTS with the ISRA, based on recommendations from their “expert panel.” And the Board directed Boeing to return to the Board in a year, with full performance data for this next period, for the Board to review whether the promises were being kept.

Click here to view CBG PowerPoint testimony to Water Board presenting the data, belatedly posted by Boeing, and providing the comparisons for the period before and after the ISRA.

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