Port of Seattle Creating Fund to Address Legacy Industrial Pollution

Image: Port of Seattle.

The Port of Seattle is establishing a fund dedicated to cleaning up legacy industrial pollution on its properties, the port announced Nov. 14.

Port commissioners have authorized the executive director to create a new Environmental Legacy Fund with property tax revenue to pay for the cleanup of longtime industrial pollution on port property. The port’s currently involved in 18 environmental remediation projects, many of them in partnership with other government agencies and organizations.

The new fund, which the port said it intends to launch with $30 million from tax levy money collected annually from King County homeowners, would help pay for the more than $100 million in research, investigation, design and cleanup work over the next 10 years.

The port added that some costs could ultimately be offset by those responsible for the pollution as well as state grants and insurance.

“One of the key lessons from the pandemic is the incredible value of strategic planning and strong financial reserves,” port Executive Director Stephen Metruck said. “Careful stewardship and planning made it possible for the port to maintain its operations and help lead the recovery despite economic upheaval and uncertainty. Applying those lessons to our cleanup work protects critical resources needed for remediation, while staying true to our role as an environmental and financial steward.”

By Karen Robes Meeks