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Replacing the Algona Transfer Station with a New South County Recycling and Transfer Station

Three sites were identified as possible locations for a new recycling and transfer station in south King County.

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Action alternative: 35101 W. Valley Highway S., Algona

35101 W. Valley Highway S., Algona

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Action alternative: 901 C St. S.W., Auburn

901 C St. S.W., Auburn

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Action alternative: 28721 West Valley Highway S., Auburn

28721 West Valley Highway S., Auburn

Retaining the current Algona Transfer Station was also considered.

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No action alternative: existing Algona Transfer Station – 35315 W. Valley Highway S., Algona

Algona Transfer Station – 35315 W. Valley Highway S., Algona

Project Update – June 2014

Three potential sites were identified as the possible location for a new recycling and transfer station to replace the existing Algona station:

Additionally, retaining the existing Algona Transfer Station: 35315 W. Valley Highway S., Algona (PDF, 800 K) until the end of its useful life was also considered.

The environmental review process undertaken by King County examines the probable significant adverse environmental impacts of this project for each site. This effort revealed issues at the two sites located in Auburn that would significantly affect the project cost and schedule. Such issues do not exist for the site located in Algona, next to the current facility.

The King County Solid Waste Division is in the process of discussing mitigation strategies with the City of Algona that would address the minor potential environmental impacts anticipated, and would allow the County to site the new station next to the existing station. These discussions are productive and ongoing.
Any agreement reached between King County and the City of Algona on the siting of a new facility would need approval by the governing councils of both jurisdictions.
Please check back for additional updates.

If you would like to submit a comment, please use the online comment form. Written comments can also be sent to: King County Solid Waste Division, 201 S. Jackson Street, Suite 701, Seattle, WA 98104-3855, Attn: Tom Creegan, Project Manager.

Please see Project schedule for latest updates.


Situation

The Algona Transfer Station, like many of King County's other solid waste transfer stations, was built in the mid-1960s. The station has served the region well for nearly five decades; however, it is now outdated and over-capacity and lacks space to provide recycling services. A regional, multi-year planning effort that resulted in the Solid Waste Transfer and Waste Management Plan (PDF, 650 K), led to the decision to replace the Algona Transfer Station with a new recycling and transfer station in the south King County area.

The King County Solid Waste Division's project team undertook a comprehensive search to identify sites on which to build a new facility that would replace the current Algona Station. The new station must be located in or near the same communities that are served by the current Algona station – Algona, Auburn, Federal Way and Pacific.

Efforts to date include:

  • Developed pass/fail (PDF, 148 K) and functional (PDF, 288 K) criteria to use to evaluate potential sites.
  • Reached out to south county cities, residents, business owners, school districts, environmental groups, transfer station users and others to advise King County on community concerns and perspectives of siting a new station; formed a Siting Advisory Committee of those stakeholders.
  • Held four meetings with the advisory committee in which community criteria (PDF, 225 K) were identified, King County’s newest recycling and solid waste facility at Bow Lake was toured, and feedback was provided to the County’s project team on potential sites and how well the sites met or did not meet the criteria.
  • Identified four potential sites* to evaluate further from an initial list of more than 100 parcels.
  • Held a public meeting to inform the wider south County community of the siting project, obtain input about the sites, and to address any questions or concerns.
  • Eliminated two of the four sites from further consideration after the project team evaluated how well they met or did not meet the established criteria.
  • Selected two sites for environmental review.
  • Issued a Determination of Significance (PDF, 119 K) and Request for Comments on Scope of Environmental Impact Statement in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).
  • Held a public scoping meeting to hear from the community what aspects of the environment they want King County to look at in an EIS.
  • Received additional information from the City of Auburn about a site as a possible location for the new recycling and transfer station in south King County.
  • Issued a Revised Scope of Environmental Impact Statement and Extension of Scoping Comment Period (PDF, 95 K) which included a third alternative and identified it as a preferred alternative.
  • Issued a Notice of Second Extension of Scoping Comment Period and Public Scoping Meeting (PDF, 1.8 MB) which extended the scoping comment period for all of the alternatives and notified the public of a scoping meeting.
  • Held a second scoping meeting to hear from the community what aspects of the environment they want King County to look at in an EIS.

*In early 2012, the division became aware of a property for sale immediately adjacent to the Algona Transfer Station that might be a good location for a new transfer station. The division purchased the property to preserve it as an option for transfer station development. The property is being evaluated in the environmental review.

The search for potential sites

The King County project team cast a wide net in searching for suitable sites. Two key resources were used to search for sites: the County’s Geographic Information Services (GIS) and professional real estate services. Real estate consultants searched using the Multiple Listing Service, checked for County and city surplus properties, met with brokers, and drove the area looking for sites. GIS applied key criteria to the search for parcels. Those key criteria included:

  • Sites approximately 15-20 acres in size
  • Site zoning that allows for transfer station use
  • Site within approximately ½ mile of a major arterial/highway
  • Property cost within budget
  • Screen for critical areas ( e.g. floodplains, streams and wetlands)

After applying those criteria, the number of potential sites quickly narrowed.

Description of alternatives under consideration

Background

After evaluating how well the potential sites met or did not meet the functional and community criteria, two sites (one at South 320th & I-5 near Federal Way and one at 1250 C St. NW in Auburn) were eliminated from further consideration. The sites at 901 C St. SW in Auburn and the site at 35101 W. Valley Highway S. in Algona are still under consideration.

In late 2012, new information was provided to the Solid Waste Division about a 15-acre site that had previously been considered and rejected during the initial site screening process because it did not meet a key functional criterion, “site contains a manageable amount of critical areas.” The original information available to the Division indicated that approximately 12 acres of this 15-acre site were wetlands, which made the site unsuitable for development of a transfer station. The new information indicates that a much smaller percentage of the site may qualify as wetlands. The information concerning wetlands will continue to be evaluated as the EIS is developed, including consultation with the appropriate regulatory agencies.

This 15-acre site is located at 28721 West Valley Highway S. in Auburn and includes the two parcels immediately adjacent to the west. This third site was identified as the preferred alternative based on information available at the time. This site is located in the northern portion of the City of Auburn’s Innovative Partnership Zone, which was established to bring economic development to the area. It is the Division’s understanding in working with the City of Auburn that this third site has more opportunity than the other two alternatives to attract “green” economic development and that a recycling/transfer facility could be a key component of that development. In addition, it is the Division’s understanding that the property owner is open to selling the property to the County.

Public involvement

Public involvement is essential to identify and evaluate the best site for a new facility. To learn more about the facility siting process and provide your input, please:

Project schedule

Project schedule – updated June 2014 (subject to change)

Date

Actions/Events/Public Meetings

July-Aug. 2012

Potential site identification – a large number of parcels were identified as potential sites for a new facility and screened using basic criteria (appropriate zoning, not in a flood plain, close to major roadways, sufficient property size, etc.).

August 2012

Development of criteria pass/fail (PDF, 148 K) and functional criteria (PDF, 288 K) were developed by King County to use in evaluating potential sites.

Aug. 15, 2012

First Siting Advisory Committee meeting – committee members learned why a new station is needed and developed a list of community criteria (PDF, 225 K) to evaluate potential sites.

Aug. - Sept. 2012

Broad area site screening siting criteria (PDF, 235 K – see question #13) were applied to a large number of potential sites to eliminate the least likely sites from consideration.

Sept. 13, 2012

Second Siting Advisory Committee meeting - committee members reviewed information on a short-list of potential sites and reviewed how siting criteria was applied.

Sept. 27, 2012

Project Open House – 4-7:30 p.m., with presentation at 5 p.m. and repeated at 6 p.m.
Auburn Senior Center, 808 Ninth St. SE, Auburn (external) - this public meeting introduced the project to the wider community, including showing the short-list of potential sites and the project schedule, and addressing questions and concerns.

Sept - Oct 2012

Focused Site Screening and Comparative Evaluation – evaluated the remaining sites to determine the best two or three sites and then compared those sites to each other.

Oct. 10, 2012

Third Siting Advisory Committee meeting - committee members reviewed feedback from the project open house and assessed the focused site screening and comparative evaluation efforts described above.

Oct. 30, 2012

Determination of Significance issued by the King County Solid Waste Division in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) – this means that an Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared to evaluate the two action alternatives and a no action alternative.

Beginning of public comment period on the scope of the EIS - the public tells King County what aspects of the environment they want the county to look at in the EIS. Written comments can sent to the King County Solid Waste Division via the online comment form or mailed to the address listed under Public involvement.

Nov. 15, 2012

Public Scoping Meeting – 4:30-7:30 p.m., with a presentation at 5 p.m. and repeated at 6:30 p.m. Green River Community College (external), – use the west entrance - 12401 SE 320th Street, Auburn 98092 Lindbloom Student Center. This meeting provided the public with the opportunity to learn more about the project and to tell King County project staff what aspects of the environment they want the county to look at in the EIS.

Nov. 30, 2012

Deadline for submitting comments on the scope of the EIS.

Feb. 7, 2013

Revised Scope of Environmental Impact Statement and Extension of Scoping Comment Period issued by the King County Solid Waste Division in accordance with SEPA – this notice adds a third Alternative to be evaluated in the EIS and identifies a preferred Alternative.

Beginning of extended public comment period on the scope of the EIS - the public tells King County what aspects of the environment they want the county to look at in the EIS for the third Alternative only. Written comments can sent to the King County Solid Waste Division via the online comment form or mailed to the address listed under Public involvement.

Feb. 28, 2013

Deadline for submitting comments on the revised scope of the EIS as part of the extended scoping comment period.

March 8, 2013

Notice of Second Extension of Scoping Comment Period and Public Scoping Meeting (PDF, 1.8 MB) issued by the King County Solid Waste Division – this notice extends the scoping comment period until April 5, 2013 and provides notification of a public scoping meeting to be held on March 27, 2013.

Beginning of second extension of the public comment period on the scope of the EIS - the public tells King County what aspects of the environment they want the county to look at in the EIS for each of the Alternatives. Written comments can sent to the King County Solid Waste Division via the online comment form or mailed to the address listed under Public involvement.

March 27, 2013

Public Scoping Meeting – 4:30 to 6:45 p.m. with a video presentation at 5 p.m. and repeated at 6 p.m. Meredith Hill Elementary School, 5830 S. 300th St., Auburn (external). The intent of this meeting was to provide the public with the opportunity to learn more about the project and to tell King County project staff what aspects of the environment they want the county to look at in the EIS

April 5, 2013

Deadline for submitting comments on the revised scope of the EIS as part of the second extension of the scoping comment period.

July 11, 2013

Community Information Meeting – 7-8:30 p.m. at the Auburn Senior Activity Center, 808 Ninth St. SE, Auburn (external). This meeting was an opportunity for south county residents to hear project updates and ask questions.

April 2013-ongoing

Environmental review – includes a description of the existing environment that will be affected by the proposed project, analyzes significant adverse environmental impacts of each site alternative, and identifies reasonable mitigation measures that avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts.

Spring-Summer 2014

Discussions between King County Solid Waste Division and the City of Algona – regarding mitigation strategies that would address the minor potential environmental impacts anticipated with the site next to the existing Algona station – 35101 W. Valley Highway S., Algona (PDF, 780 K).

TBD

Release of environmental review and public comment period – pending the outcome of mitigation discussions between King County and Algona.

Project documents

Project contacts

If you have questions, would like to provide comments, or would like to sign up for electronic notices on this siting process, please use our online comment form to ensure a timely response. Online comments are sent to each of the following contacts.

Project managers

Tom Creegan
King County Solid Waste Division
Telephone: 206-477-5218, TTY Relay: 711; Fax: 206-296-8431

Public involvement

Polly Young
King County Solid Waste Division
Telephone: 206-477-5266, TTY Relay: 711; Fax: 206-296-0197

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Updated: Jun. 24, 2014


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