Remediation Seattle, Washington

Lockheed West Seattle Superfund Site Season 1 Update

Remediation work at the Lockheed Martin West Seattle Superfund site began on August 13, 2018, with the mobilization of dredge platforms, barges, and water quality monitoring boats on site.

Removal of the pilings and debris in the former shipway and along the shoreline began the next day. To date, more than 750 piles were removed.

Significant delays occurred when union crane operators went on strike August 21. Work resumed on September 10. Subtidal removal continued on September 12 and dredging began five days later. Approximately 1,237 tons of debris were removed.

In mid-October, an issue with  a corroded sheet pile wall in the former shipway resulted in the redesign of the excavation again causing significant challenges and delays.

As of January 2019, 114,000 tons of contaminated sediments were removed from the site with approximately 64% of the designed enhanced natural recovery materials and about 12% of the residual management layer in place across the site.

As February ended, 124 post-confirmation sediment cores were collected, and by mid-March over 18,000 tons of riprap and filter rock were placed in the dry dock slopes and former shipway areas.

Additionally, more than 12,500 tons of sand, fish mix, and gravel beach mix were placed in the intertidal and subtidal areas by the end of March.

Coordination at the work site with Native American fishers was excellent with no damaged fishing nets and no complaints from the Tribes.

By using rail to transport dredge spoils instead of trucking, over 126,000 gallons of fuel were saved, and carbon dioxide emissions were reduced by over 1,400 tons.  About 500 pounds of aluminum, paper, and plastic from the site were recycled.


The Elliot Bay is used for a variety of recreational purposes, including fishing, canoeing and kayaking. The Muckleshoot and Suquamish Native American Tribes use the area for commercial and subsistence fishing. The area also provides habitat critical to Chinook salmon, which the federal government has listed as a threatened species.

Lockheed Shipbuilding and other maritime companies operated the former shipyard for approximately 45 years. Lockheed Martin Corporation discontinued its operations at the Lockheed Shipyard No. 2 in 1987.


It is believed that historical uses of the facility — shipbuilding, repair and maintenance activities — have resulted in contaminated sediments.

The sediments are habitat to numerous fish and other aquatic species, and are within a migratory corridor for endangered, threatened and other anadromous fish, which are fish that move from salt to fresh water to lay their eggs.

Historical shipyard contaminants of potential concern include

  • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • organic compounds, mercury and other metals.
  • Other contaminants not directly associated with shipyard activities also may be present at the site.
Elliot Bay

The Port of Seattle

The Port of Seattle (The Port) purchased the property in 1992.

  • The Port cleaned up the land area of the old shipyard under Washington State Department of Ecology oversight.
  • The property is currently part of The Port’s Terminal 5, which is a container shipping facility.
  • Lockheed Martin is responsible for cleanup of the aquatic sediments portion of the property, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is overseeing this activity.


Lockheed Martin has prepared a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) to better understand the contamination and to develop a cleanup plan.

  • The EPA approved the work plan in June 2008. To date, Lockheed Martin has conducted three RI field investigations at the site to provide data for the risk assessments and the RI/FS.
  • Lockheed Martin conducted an analysis of data collected during the field investigations to complete the Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments.
  • Activities in 2009 and 2010 included the completion of the RI/FS; the EPA determination of the proposed plan; and Record of Decision.

View a List of Terms Commonly Used in Relation to General Environmental Remediation Efforts

Community Information

If You Have Questions Please Contact Corporate Communications at 800.449.4486

Seattle Clean-Up Timeline 2019

Superfund Site Season 1 Timeline and Major Milestones 2019

Photo Tour of West Seattle Remediation Work October 2018


1900s - Harbor Island created from wetlands; used continuously for industrial activities.

1909 -   Yard 1, on Harbor Island, east side of  West Waterway of Duwamish River begins operations as Puget Sound Bridge.

1943 - Yard 2, on the west side of the West Waterway begins operations. Both yards used primarily for shipbuilding, ship repair and maintenance.

1959 - Lockheed buys Yard 1.

1987 – Yard 1 operations cease.

1989 - Lockheed sells Yard 2 to Port of Seattle.

1997 – Lockheed sells Yard 1 to the Port of Seattle.

2007 - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) establishes Lockheed West Seattle as Superfund site.

2008 - Lockheed prepares a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) Work Plan; US EPA approves the work plan. 

2012  April – RI/FS completed.

2012  July – USEPA issues Proposed Plan.

2013 August – USEPA issues Record of Decision.

2015 March – USEPA issues Unilateral Agreement Order for Remedial Design/Remedial Action.

2015 November – 2016 February – Pre-design investigation underway.

2017 February – 30% Design remedy under development.

2017 May - 60% Design documents released

2018 July – Final 100% Design documents released.

2018 Winter – Remedy construction.