Despite recent assertions from several local politicians, the contamination of the Snoqualmie Mill site has been documented by numerous organizations, both governmental and private.

Extensive documentation exists detailing the specific contaminants present on the Mill site and the specific areas in which they have been detected. That being said, the reviews still leave out some critical information. For example, the water and sediment in Borst Lake has never been tested for specific contaminants, the soil on the Mill site has never been properly tested during runoff conditions, and the potential for contamination of groundwater and surrounding water bodies (namely, the Snoqualmie River) has never been properly assessed.

Above - Borst Lake (Red) and Mill Site (Blue)

Toxicity and Pollutants

To date, environmental reviews conducted at the Mill site have detected the presence of PCBs and other hydrocarbons in soil test sediments in levels above legal standards in Washington State*, among other organic and chemical contaminants. 

PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are of particular concern due to their carcinogenic (cancer-causing), mutagenic (mutation-causing) and teratogenic (embryo/fetus-terminating) capabilities. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, PCBs are “readily absorbed through the gut, respiratory system and skin in mammals.”

As a group, our primary concern is that these highly toxic pollutants will, through the process of excavation and construction, end up in our waterways and/or groundwater, creating a public health crisis for local residents and wildlife, as well as numerous downstream communities from Fall City all the way to the Puget Sound.

*These standards are determined through the Model Toxics Control Act. Learn more here.

A brief historical presentation: "A Potentially Serious Contamination Threat to the Snoqualmie Watershed"

To view a slide presentation regarding the history of contamination at the Snoqualmie Mill site, please click here. (Note: This slide presentation was created in 2017 by James Szubski. Some links in the presentation might not work.)