Roystone Apartments on hold for site cleanup

Roystone Apartments on hold for site cleanup

Source:, June 24, 2019
By: Brandon Macz

Construction of a 93-unit apartment building in Lower Queen Anne is being delayed in order to clean up the site, where a Texaco station once operated and petroleum hydrocarbons were first detected in the 1980s.

Vibrant Cities was cleared by the West Design Review Board to seek permits for its Roystone Apartmentsproject at 631 Queen Anne Ave. N. back in February.

The developer is now working on remediation of the site with Chevron Environmental Management Company (CEMC) through an agreed order with the Washington Department of Ecology, which is hosting a public meeting 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 27, to discuss the cleanup process. The meeting is being held at the Maxwell Hotel, 300 Roy St.

Texaco owned the property at 631 Queen Anne Ave. N. from 1927 to 1977, at which point William and Erma Arnold purchased and operated the service station. They attempted to sell the property in 1989, according to Ecology, but the sale was rescinded in 1993 due to petroleum hydrocarbon contamination, and the Arnolds were ordered to stop selling gasoline. Seven underground storage tanks were removed from the property, and one was abandoned in place.

Manhattan Express Deli began operating on the site in 1993. Vibrant Cities purchased the property in October 2017, and the deli closed in 2018; the building served as a pop-up produce market through the holidays last year.

Prior to addressing the contaminants found around the former gas station, Ecology worked with the Arnolds and Texaco to clean up the old Monterey Apartments on the southwest corner of the site.

Ecology installed a soil vapor extraction (SVE) and groundwater recovery system with a spray aeration vacuum extraction treatment system (SAVE) at the site in 1993. The SAVE system was replaced with a catalytic oxidizer in 1996, and CEMC replaced the SVE system with a dual phase extraction system in 2006, which it operated until April 2008, according to Ecology.

CEMC and Vibrant Cities (Roystone) will lead various aspects of the remediation work on the site, and also reimburse Ecology for any costs associated with its work on the 11,070-square-foot site, which was about $12,000 as of May 31.

“Groundwater flow direction across the Property has consistently been determined to be to the west southwest,” according to a draft interim action work plan prepared by The Riley Group for Roystone on Queen Anne, LLC. “Petroleum contaminated groundwater is also present beneath most of the Property and extends off-Property to the west and southwest. Petroleum contaminated groundwater may also extend off-Property, to a much lesser degree, limited to just beneath the sidewalks to the north and east of the Property.”

Light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL), a groundwater contaminant not soluble in water, was detected on the property prior to early remediation work, but is no longer present, according to Ecology. It was last detected there in 2008.

Those contaminant concentrations exceeding Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) cleanup levels include total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), naphthalene and BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes).

Ecology has set up a site page for the clean-up process, and public comment is being accepted through July 23.

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