Successful Step Forward Resolving Area Z Concerns

Sudden Valley took a significant step forward successfully addressing long standing Area Z environmental issues this last month.  While the Association has known for years of the existence of underground fuel contamination at Area Z, a resolution to the issue has been elusive to the Association due to multiple starts and stops.

Compounding the contamination issue, multiple projects over time deposited construction debris which compounded the problem because that accumulated dirt constituted the potential creation of wetlands above the ground where the contamination was known to exist.

While the Washington Department of Ecology has purview over the contamination, the Army Corp of Engineers has jurisdictional authority of designation of water in the United States.  The Association has been working to resolve the total Area Z issue, and has now received Jurisdictional Determination from the Army Corp affirming that five areas in Area Z are not Wet Lands, and two small area are so designated.  This action is complete.

In parallel, while working with the Army Corp to obtain the Jurisdictional Determination, we assembled a comprehensive set of Area Z records and presented that data (some going back to the 1970’s) to environmental contractors who evaluated our records identifying data gaps.  This contractor has initiated a field investigation to test and analyze ground water and soils to quantitatively assess the nature and extent of any remaining petroleum contamination.

The next phase is simply to summarize the data and prepare a plan to achieve remediation with the state.  That plan will incorporate current and future potential uses of the land at Area Z.  Let us hope the samples are positive.  If you have any questions, please contact the Mitch Waterman at

The Area Z Draft Wetland Map can be found HERE

The Regulatory Branch Letter can be found HERE