Radioactive Contamination in Magnuson Park,
Public Meeting: Wednesday May 29th
7PM Question and Answer
5 PM Open House Begins
at The Mountaineers
(7700 Sand Point Way NE - enter park at 77th, immediate left turn)

Seattle's Magnuson Park has a contamination problem
which hasn't been disclosed to the public for the past four years. And, it is serious - involving radioactive contamination in the soils around, and the building attached to, the hangar housing Arena Sports and the Magnuson Park Athletic Club. There is also contamination in and around Building 2, which had been the indoor soccer facility prior to Arena Sports moving.

With our focus on cleaning up Hanford, we were surprised to learn about the serious radioactive contamination problem left over from the Navy at Seattle's Magnsuon Park. We are very disturbed about the lax cleanup proposed by the Navy - which would leave radioactive contamination in Park soils and buildings at levels 80 to 240 times the acceptable cancer risk for cleanup under our State cleanup law.  

Please join 46th District State Representative Gerry Pollet and Heart of America Northwest on Wednesday evening (May 29th) at a public meeting and open house about the contamination, at The Mountaineers (7700 Sand Point Way NE - enter main park entrance, take immediate left). The Open House with the Navy, Seattle Parks and Washington Ecology begins at 5 PM.
We have asked them to take questions from you and respond at 7 PM.

The contamination was discovered in 2009 and 2010. However, the Navy, Seattle Parks and WA Dept. of Health agreed amongst themselves not to put up signs which would warn the public that the areas they were fencing off had any contamination problems, or that the building attached to Building 27 (Arena Sports, indoor soccer and the athletic club) had radioactive contamination.

Contamination above safe levels includes radioactive Radium, Strontium and Cesium, in addition to pesticides and lead. The radioactive contamination stems from Navy use of radium paint for dials when the Park was Sand Point Naval Air Station.  

Earlier this year, the Navy expected to begin its cleanup without any public review and comment on its cleanup plans. The Navy's materials include misleading statements implying that the only radioactive contamination is Alpha radiation, which can be stopped by paper or a layer of dirt (although it is highly dangerous if ingested or in contact with skin).

However, radioactive Strontium 90, Cesium and forms of Radium which give off Gamma radiation, which can penetrate walls or soil, are also present.

Contaminated areas include soils around the buildings and under parking areas; and, may extend to the Lake Washington shoreline sediments where storm drains discharge.

From reviewing the cleanup plan,
we are very concerned that the Navy's plan would leave radioactive contamination at levels 80 to 240 times the acceptable cancer risk allowed for children at hazardous waste cleanup sites under Washington's Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). The Navy's plan - which would allow future exposures to 15 millirem of radiation per year from Radium and Strontium - does not even reference our state cleanup standards!

At the meeting or in emailed comments, join us in urging:


  1. Cleanup to meet our state's stricter cancer risk cleanup standards to reduce exposures tenfold and increase cleanup;
  2. Investigation of whether there is contamination of the sediments in Lake Washington around the storm sewer outfalls and along the drain lines;
  3. Not trucking wastes on detour routes, or when there ar backups, during Sand Point Way NE construction;
  4. Public input into development of a Public Participation Plan by Washington's Department of Ecology (including notice and signage about the contamination); and,
  5. Ecology taking regulatory authority over the cleanup.


You can send comments or questions to:

For more information, Ecology's website for project information will be:

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