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EPA: Environmental Justice Analysis for the Lower Duwamish Waterway Cleanup

Published: June 13, 2013
Environmental Regulatory Enhancement
Environmental Justice

​February 2013

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The Lower Duwamish Waterway (LDW), located in Seattle, Washington, is an urban estuary with a long history of alteration and industrialization; it was listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2001. This environmental justice analysis provides an assessment of the environmental and health impacts of the proposed Superfund cleanup actions on the affected community.  This includes an assessment of the outcomes of proposed Superfund actions on the community, and what environmental justice concerns stem from those proposed actions.

Included in this document are data on the burden faced by the community, such as the health status and indicators of health risk, and other exposures to environmental pollution faced by the community living around the LDW.  The communities affected by the conditions of the LDW include the Georgetown and South Park neighborhoods, individuals who work on the shores or use the river for fishing and recreation, and local tribes who have a presence in or use resources within the Duwamish River watershed.

Two tribes, the federally recognized Muckleshoot and Suquamish tribes, have federal treaty fishing and gathering rights within the LDW and its outflow; resident seafood, fish and shellfish habitat, and other resources available to tribes, within the waterway will be directly affected by the cleanup actions.  Historically and currently, the Duwamish tribe has lived along and utilized the Duwamish River and its resources, although it does not have federal status and federally established treaty rights.