The developers of the proposed 4-story mixed-use building at 6010 Phinney hired consultants to conduct an environmental assessment last month. Now the results are back, and things don’t look good for the future of the development. Geotech Consultants Inc. drilled 22 feet into the ground under the property and found significant levels of PERC, a common dry-cleaning chemical.
After decades as the home of Phinney Ridge Cleaners, the site has accumulated an amount of PERC that was found to be above cleanup levels in 9 of the 11 borings. That means the developers of the 6010 project will have to do something about the soil before construction starts on their proposed mixed-use development. The study offers two possible methods for cleanup: either the soil can be dug out and removed entirely, or the PERC can be removed by chemical treatment.
This study doesn’t call for any immediate cleanup action, but Geotech did recommend further testing to find out the exact depth, area and volume of the PERC in the soil. For the moment, the situation doesn’t appear to be serious. No spills or releases of PERC at 6010 have ever been reported to the Washington Department of Ecology.
Fortunately for both the developers and local residents, the study also didn’t find very much groundwater on the site. Water is the main way PERC can spread, and cleaning up the site will be easier and safer without it. The chemical evaporates in the air and doesn’t spread quickly in soil.
The developers haven’t said how this affects the timetable for the project, or their chances for getting a master use permit, but the current businesses on the property aren’t going anywhere for a while. Roosters Breakfast Club agreed to a new three-year lease on Thursday, according to the restaurant’s owner, who said he had already started scouting out possible new locations. He also said that the business owners on the block haven’t seen the results of the Geotech study, so although it appears the cleanup issue and the lease extension are related, we can’t confirm that yet.