Comments sought on Schwerin Concaves cleanup plan

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WALLA WALLA — Comments are being sought on a draft plan to continue the clean up of a former chrome-plating shop east of Walla Walla.

The state Department of Ecology hopes to use the plan to guide cleanup of the Schwerin Concaves site, north of U.S. Highway 12 at 1106 Sapolil Road.

According to a news release, wastewater released from a tank on the property resulted in high concentrations of hexavalent chromium in soil and shallow groundwater contamination. Hexavalent chromium is a toxic metal that can cause health problems and may contribute to certain types of cancer.

Nearly 3,000 tons of contaminated soil have already been removed from the site to protect the public and improve groundwater conditions. The next step in the cleanup process involves a combination of five alternatives identified in a 2008 study.

Comments on the proposed plan will be taken starting today through Nov. 30. After that time, Ecology will make any modifications to the plan based on public comment if appropriate. If no changes are made, the draft action plan will become final and cleanup will move forward.

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