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

Notice of Issuance and Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) issued September 20, 2016.

The King County Solid Waste Division issued a Notice of Issuance and Availability of the Final EIS for the South County Recycling and Transfer Station (PDF, 170 K) in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

The Final EIS evaluates the environmental impacts of siting, building, and operating a new recycling and transfer station in south King County. The two properties evaluated are located at:

  • 901 C Street Southwest, Auburn WA 98001
  • 35101 West Valley Highway South, Algona WA 98001 (preferred alternative)

A “no action” alternative was also evaluated in the Final EIS which would retain the current Algona Transfer Station at 35315 West Valley Hwy. S., Algona 98001.

The Final EIS and appendices are available for review electronically, and hard copies are available for review at the King County Solid Waste Division, 201 S. Jackson Street, Suite 701, Seattle, or at the libraries listed below:

  • Algona-Pacific Library, 255 Ellingson Road., Pacific
  • Auburn Library, 1102 Auburn Way S., Auburn
  • Federal Way Library, 34200 1st Way S., Federal Way
  • Federal Way 320th Library, 848 S. 320th St., Federal Way
  • Kent Library, 212 2nd Avenue N., Kent
  • Muckleshoot Library, 39917 Auburn Enumclaw Road SE, Auburn

Printed documents can be obtained for the cost of production by contacting 206-477-5264. Copies of the Final EIS (without appendices) are available for $50. Electronic copies of the Final EIS (including appendices) are also available on CD at a cost of $5.00 each.

Appeal: Anyone wishing to appeal the adequacy of this Final EIS must file a Notice of Appeal and the appeal fee with the SEPA Responsible Official at the following address:

  • King County Solid Waste Division
    Pat D. McLaughlin, SEPA Responsible Official
    ATTN: Division Director’s Office
    201 South Jackson Street, Suite 701
    Seattle, Washington 98104-3855

Pursuant to King County Public Rule PUT 7-4-1 (PR), King County Code section 20.22.040(U) and the other applicable provisions of King County Code 20.22.(re-codified from former K.C.C. section 20.24), a Notice of Appeal must be filed by October 7, 2016, and be accompanied by the appeal fee of $250.00.  Payment must be by check or money order made payable to “King County Treasury”. Learn more about the appeal process.

The final siting decision is expected to be made by the end of 2016.

Please see Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 235 K) for more information.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement evaluates the environmental impacts of developing a new recycling and transfer station on one of two potential sites plus a “no action” alternative that continues to use the existing station:

 
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Map of alternative locations and South King County area

Map of alternative locations and S. King County area (PDF, 200 K)

 
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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

Retaining the current Algona Transfer Station was also considered as a “No Action” alternative in the EIS.


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:

*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.

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.” This 15-acre site is located at 28721 West Valley Highway S. in Auburn and includes the two parcels immediately adjacent to the west.

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 information provided in late 2012 indicated that a much smaller percentage of the site may qualify as wetlands.

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 was the Division’s understanding at the time that the property owner was open to selling the property to the County. This site has since been eliminated as a potential location for the new transfer station; it is not a reasonable alternative, and cannot feasibly attain the proposal’s objectives.

Two sites are under consideration as “action alternatives” in the EIS process:

  • 901 C St. SW in Auburn and
  • 35101 W. Valley Highway S. in Algona

A “No Action” alternative is also evaluated in the EIS which would retain the current Algona Transfer Station at 35315 West Valley Hwy. S., Algona 98001.

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:

  • See project schedule below for public meetings and public comment opportunities
  • View the notes from Siting Advisory Committee meetings
  • Provide comments using our online comment form to ensure a timely response.
  • Send a letter to the King County Solid Waste Division: 201 South Jackson Street, Suite 701, Seattle WA 98104-3855, Attn: Tom Creegan, Project Manager

Project schedule

Project schedule – updated September 2016 (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.).

Aug. 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 be sent to the King County Solid Waste Division via email: SCRTS.project@kingcounty.gov 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 be sent to the King County Solid Waste Division via email: SCRTS.project@kingcounty.gov 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 be sent to the King County Solid Waste Division via email: SCRTS.project@kingcounty.gov 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 2014 - Oct. 2015

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).

Nov. 3, 2015

Revised Determination of Significance and Request for Comments on Scope of Environmental Impact Statement – this means that an Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared to evaluate the two action alternatives and a no action alternative. This notice also eliminates the site located at 28721 West Valley Highway South in Auburn as a potential site for a new facility.

Beginning of public comment period on the scope of the EIS - the public is asked to tell King County what aspects of the environment they want the county to look at in the EIS. Written comments can be sent to the King County Solid Waste Division via email: SCRTS.project@kingcounty.gov or mailed to the address listed under Public involvement.

Nov. 24, 2015

Deadline for submitting comments on the scope of the EIS.

Feb. 4, 2016

Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the South County Recycling and Transfer Station and Notice of Public Open House (PDF, 300 K) – Draft EIS available for comment. All comments due March 9, 2016.

Feb. 22, 2016

Open House – Monday, February 22 from 6 – 8 p.m.at Auburn High School Commons, 711 East Main Street, Auburn, WA 98002. The purpose of the open house was to provide an opportunity for community members to learn more about the draft EIS and to offer comments on the draft EIS. View the display boards (PDF, 5 MB) shown at the open house.

March 3, 2016

Open House – Thursday, March 3 from 6 – 8 p.m. at The American Filipino Hall, 103 6th Avenue N, Algona, WA 98002. The purpose of the open house was to provide an opportunity for community members to learn more about the draft EIS and to offer comments on the draft EIS. View the display boards (PDF, 5 MB) shown at the open house.

March 9, 2016

Deadline for submitting comments on the Draft EIS.

March 10 - Sept. 2016

King County Solid Waste Division - will review and consider comments made on the draft EIS and prepare a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), The Final EIS will incorporate responses to comments received on the draft EIS.

Sept. 20, 2016

Notice of Issuance and Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (PDF, 170 K) - issued by the King County Solid Waste Division.

Oct. 7, 2016

Deadline to file a Notice of Appeal regarding the adequacy of the Final EIS. Learn more about the appeal process.

TBD

The final siting decision is expected to be made by the end of 2016.

Project documents

Final Environmental Impact Statement

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Project contacts

If you have questions or would like to provide comments on the project, please email the project team to ensure a timely response. 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: Sep. 20, 2016


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