Reducing Our Environmental Footprint
Commitment to Remediation
photo: Boeing photo
Boeing is actively cleaning up locations affected by past business practices. Working with national, state and local regulatory agencies, we strive for an open exchange of information with community members, government representatives and other stakeholders. Our goal is to clean up sites in a timely, efficient and protective manner.
Boeing spends approximately $100 million per year cleaning up former manufacturing facilities and sites where Boeing, or companies we have acquired, shipped chemicals and other waste for treatment, storage or disposal. In many cases, waste-processing facilities that used treatment methods deemed acceptable in the past are being cleaned up to meet or exceed current environmental standards that are more stringent.
We continue to make progress as Boeing completed obligations at six sites in 2010, including locations in Arizona, California, New Jersey, Texas and Washington state. Since acquiring McDonnell Douglas, parts of Rockwell International and other companies in the late 1990s, Boeing has completed cleanup obligations at nearly 150 sites.
Boeing looks for opportunities to build sustainable remediation practices into these projects, reducing the environmental footprint of a cleanup. Limiting air emissions, minimizing impacts to water quality, conserving natural resources and increasing operational efficiencies are some of the ways Boeing is trying to make its remediation efforts more sustainable.
On our property along the Duwamish Waterway in Seattle, for example, sugar and sugar syrups are being used to promote a biodegradation process that naturally exists in groundwater. And, at Santa Susana, Calif., we treated soils by using food products and other biodegradable materials to help naturally occurring microorganisms clean up perchlorate contamination. This work eliminated the need to haul soil to a hazardous waste facility.
Duwamish Waterway Cleanup
Demolition of the old Plant 2 facility along the Duwamish is well underway. Once the World War II–era buildings have come down, the shoreline will be restored, creating nearly 5 acres (approximately 2 hectares) of intertidal wetlands and enhanced habitat for migratory fish. Boeing will excavate more than 200,000 cubic yards (153,000 cubic meters) of sediment from the waterway, replacing it with clean soil. As part of the demolition of Plant 2, Boeing is removing potential sources of contaminant from building materials, cleaning up soil and groundwater, and installing storm water treatment systems to protect the waterway.
This project is part of a larger cleanup effort that will further reduce the level of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), metals and other chemicals in the waterway.
Photo: Boeing Photo
In 2010, the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group — which consists of the City of Seattle, King County, the Port of Seattle and Boeing — working with the state of Washington and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provided multiple cleanup alternatives for review and community comment. Later this year, the EPA is scheduled to select among the cleanup options.
"Boeing and EPA have worked closely together to find a solution to treat storm water, including reducing PCB contaminants, to the Lower Duwamish Waterway."
— Karen Keeley, Duwamish Superfund project manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10
Santa Susana Cleanup
At Santa Susana, a former federal government rocket engine and energy testing site in Southern California, Boeing is cleaning up our portion of the 2,850-acre (1,153-hectare) site to ensure that it is safe and to preserve the land as open space for future generations. In April 2011, a U.S. federal court judge ruled in Boeing’s favor that Santa Susana should be cleaned up to the same standards that apply to other sites throughout California. This will allow Boeing to continue to clean up the site in accordance with the comprehensive consent order we signed with the state in 2007.
Photo: Boeing Photo
Located on top of a mountain just outside of Los Angeles, Santa Susana features herds of deer, groves of California oak, multiple protected species and a cave with ancient Native American paintings. Since we acquired the site in 1996 as part of the acquisition of the defense and space businesses of Rockwell International, Boeing has been actively cleaning up the site.
Santa Susana is one of the few sites in the country that must manage storm water runoff to meet strict permit limitations that, in many instances, are cleaner than drinking water. This remains a technical challenge given the steep hillsides and the nature of the infrequent yet heavy rains. In 2010, Boeing met these requirements more than 98 percent of the time. We also paid $644,100 to the state of California for failing to meet certain water quality standards. Approximately $575,000 of this amount was related to storms that occurred between 2006 and 2009.
We continue to focus on meeting these requirements by working with leading experts in storm water management to install sophisticated filtering systems and holding tanks to treat the storm water with advanced filters and chemicals before release. In April 2011, despite heavy storms that dropped over 22 inches (55.8 centimeters) of rain on the site, we effectively achieved a 98 percent compliance rate with permit requirements.
Boeing holds regular information sharing meetings and tours of Santa Susana so that the public, government officials and other stakeholders can learn more about cleanup progress.