Murray Basin Work To Prepare Site for Overflow Tank Construction Begins, Construction Impacts Noted

Murray CSO mapBeginning Thursday, August 1, King County’s contractor, Tiger Construction, Everson, WA, began work to clear the buildings from the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Project site, located on Beach Drive Southwest across from Lowman Beach Park.

Crews have already completed removal of hazardous materials in three of the buildings on site at the Murray CSO Control Facility  and will finish up removal work on the remaining buildings over the next week.

Tree protection was installed around the cluster of large trees along the site’s eastern border on August 6. Crews also began deconstructing the cleaned buildings and salvaging reusable materials from them. Some of the salvaged materials will be used in the project art. The deconstruction work requires trucks and containers, so parking access on the Murray Avenue Southwest right of way will be limited through the end of September. Demolition of the remaining structures will occur after the hazardous material and salvage work is complete.

King County will monitor air quality for the duration of the deconstruction work, which will be complete by the end of September. The existing structures must be removed before construction of the new storage facility begins in late 2013. The facility will protect Puget Sound by storing sewage and polluted stormwater during storms to prevent it from overflowing out of the regional sewer system into the water off of Lowman Beach Park.

What to expect

  • Work hours will be 7:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays and 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturdays;
  • Access to Beach Drive Southwest will be maintained at all times;
  • Lowman Beach Park will remain open;
  • Project fencing will extend to the east curb of Beach Drive Southwest to maintain public safety; Pedestrians and bicyclists are urged to use Beach Drive Southwest’s western sidewalk;
  • Increased noise and activity typical of a construction site;
  • Heavy equipment including trucks, excavators, and construction containers operating on and around the project site;
  • Limited parking at times along Beach Drive Southwest and Murray Avenue Southwest;
  • Increased truck traffic on nearby streets.

Deconstruction activities

Over the next two months, King County contractor crews will:

  • Safely remove and dispose of asbestos – A few of the existing structures contain asbestos, which is harmful to human health. Nearly all of the removal work will occur inside the buildings, and requires only hand tools to complete;
  • Salvaging of reusable materials – The project must salvage at least 25 percent of the materials from the site and is seeking to salvage even more. Salvaged materials from the buildings will also be included in the project’s art installation;
  • Demolition of existing structures – Crews will deconstruct each structure individually disposing them as they go, starting from the south end of the project site and working north. Crews will use an excavator to complete this portion of the work;
  • Site stabilization – crews will leave the building foundations in place and fill them with soil to maintain the site’s stability and safety.

Coming up next….Facility construction begins in late 2013

King County has obtained the necessary permits for the project and is now finishing its review of project bids from potential contractors for facility construction. When a contractor is selected, King County will share more information about the project schedule, impacts and ways to communicate with the project team throughout construction. A public meeting will be held before construction begins, as will community group briefings. The project team will begin working with interested community members individually as necessary to prepare for construction. If you would like to be added to the project mailing list, please contact Doug Marsano at the phone number or email address below.

Construction of the facility will begin in late 2013. Among the first tasks the contractor will undertake is stabilizing the slope behind the site before excavation of the storage tank occurs.

For more information:

Call the 24-hour project information hotline: 206-205-9185, or contact Doug Marsano at or by phone at 206-684-1235 or by cell phone at 206-423-0480,


Seattle reLeaf Program Offering Free Trees, Training on Planting, & Waterbags

reLeaf_mainSeattle reLeaf’s Trees for Neighborhoods program is giving away free trees to Seattle residents. Through the program, participants receive up to four trees, free watering bags for each tree, training on proper tree planting and maintenance, and exciting workshop opportunities on topics like young tree pruning. Since 2009, Seattle residents have planted 3,300 trees through Trees for Neighborhoods on private property, including fruit trees, evergreen trees, street trees, and small trees under power lines.

  • Free trees (up to 4 per household)
  • Watering bags
  • Training on proper planting and care
  • Ongoing care reminders and workshop opportunities on topics like young tree pruning.

The reLeaf program is aimed at replacing much of the urban canopy which has been lost in the last several decades to either development, old age or other pruning.

Seattle’s Urban Forestry program is part of the City’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and part of the city’s efforts to improve the urban environment.  Trees help in many ways:

  • Trees clean out the air, making it easier to breathe;
  • Trees make our streets friendly to walk and bike;
  • hTrees soak up rainwater, keeping our streams, lakes and Puget Sound clean;
  • Trees calm traffic, helping to avoid accidents.

Program applications will be accepted beginning on July 31, applications available at

All applications for street trees are due by September 1 and applications for yard trees are due by October 11.  Planting workshops are scheduled for October 19 and November 3.


This year, the Trees for Neighborhood application will open on Wednesday, July 31st. The program is offering thirteen tree species, including Galaxy Magnolia, Tall Stewartia, Emerald Sunshine Elm, Mountain Hemlock, and June Snow Dogwood. The complete 2013 tree list can be found at  Residents should apply early as many species will be claimed quickly!

Important Dates:

  • July 31st – Application opens
  • September 1st – Street tree applications due
  • October 11th – Yard tree applications due
  • October 19th or November 3rd – Attend a planting workshop and pickup your trees at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St., Seattle, 98105

Urban trees are important for cleaning our water and air, storing carbon, and building community. Trees also calm traffic, making our streets friendly to walk and bike. Larger trees provide the greatest benefits to neighborhoods and our environment because they absorb more storm water, breathe in more carbon dioxide, and breathe out more oxygen than smaller trees. If space allows, Seattle reLeaf recommends residents plant larger trees whenever appropriate. This year, consider planting one of the larger trees offered through the program, such as an Oriental Spruce, Austrian Pine, or native Mountain Hemlock!

Interested residents should visit for more information about the program and a link to this year’s application, opening on July 31st. Questions about the program should be directed to or 206-615-1668.

Parks Levy Fund Will Improve 6 Street Ends & Help Increase Our Shoreline Access

s_riverside_drImprovements to six shoreline street ends will be coming this summer.

Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Department of Transportation are working together to improve public street ends and increase shoreline access. Select street ends along Lake Washington, Lake Union, Puget Sound, and other waterways in Seattle provide physical and/or visual access to the shoreline and water for all Seattle residents to enjoy.

This summer construction will begin at six sites throughout the City.

  • 72nd Ave. S.
    • Located in the south Rainier Beach neighborhood, this street end on Lake Washington is a low bank with a steep driveway access.
    • Proposed improvements include a bench or table.
  • S Oregon St.
    • Located on the east side of the Duwamish River, this street end is in an industrial area off of E. Marginal Way.
    • Proposed improvements include a river overlook with picnic table.
  • McGraw Street End
    • Located in Magnolia on Perkins Lane, this site provides a low bank access to the Puget Sound with views of the Olympic Mountains.
    • Proposed improvements include a pathway to shoreline and a picnic table/bench.
  • 36th Ave. NW
    • Located in Ballard on the north side of the canal, this site is adjacent to the Burke Gilman Trail and on the Puget Sound.
    • Proposed improvements include an overlook, bicycle rack and picnic table.
  • 75th Ave. S
    • Located on Lake Washington in the south Rainier Beach neighborhood on a high bank with a tree covered slope.
    • Proposed improvements include a bench and overlook with a hand-rail.
  • S Riverside Drive
    • Located in the South Park neighborhood along the shoreline of the Duwamish River.
    • Proposed improvements include a pathway, benches, native landscaping.

Additional improvements to all projects may include signs and native landscaping.

The Parks and Green Spaces Levy provides funding for planning, design, permitting and construction for these projects.

Seattle voters passed the Parks and Green Spaces in November 2008. The $146 million Levy provides improvements to neighborhood play areas, improved playfields, reservoir lid parks, community gardens, safety upgrades at city owned cultural facilities and funding for a healthy ecosystem for Seattle. This “green” funding has three types of projects: Forest and stream restoration, community gardens and shoreline access.

Help Clean Up Lincoln Park, Volunteers Wanted for Love Parks Day

Williams PointSeattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Parks Foundation, Green Seattle Partnership, EarthCorps and six corporate sponsors, including REI, have teamed up to host Love Parks Day on Friday, July 26, at Lincoln Park. From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm volunteers will clean the park and remove invasive vegetation species. Metro’s RapidRide C line runs directly by Lincoln Park from Westwood Village and Morgan and Alaska Junctions.

The goal is to have 200 volunteers who will work with Seattle Parks and Recreation crews and Friends of Lincoln Park who have identified projects throughout this 135-acre park.

Not only will volunteers have the opportunity to invest in the future of one of Seattle’s most beautifully forested parks, but partners and sponsors will provide exclusive Love Parks tee-shirts, water bottles, lunch and snacks for those who pre-register.

In addition, everyone who volunteers gets a raffle ticket for a surprise give-away gift provided by REI. And REI staff will lead outdoor yoga to help volunteers get stretched out and ready before work begins, as well as during the lunch break.

Lincoln Park is one of the city’s largest and most popular parks. It is home to ballfields, playgrounds, trails, shoreline, and forest. To preserve Lincoln’s forests for future generations, we must act now. Invasive species like English ivy and Himalayan blackberry are choking out native vegetation and are bringing an early death to many of Lincoln’s old trees.

EarthCorps provides all gloves and tools needed to perform the work. The volunteer event will happen rain or shine, so please come dressed for the weather. It is recommended that volunteers wear long pants, bring a long sleeved shirt, and wear sturdy closed toe shoes.

Parks is grateful to REI, The Seneca Group, Wells Fargo, Safeco Insurance Foundation, the Seneca Real Estate Group, NBBJ, and Pacific Continental Bank for their generous support of this event.

Washington State Solar Energy Sales Tax Exemption Extended Through 2018

RedCupSolarSales Tax Exemption Extended for Solar Energy Systems in Washington State.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed SB 5882 into law June 30 which extends the Washington state sales tax exemption on small solar energy systems for another five years. The last-minute bill also reinstates the previously expired sales tax exemption for solar hot water systems, and allows photovoltaic systems over 10 kW to continue to qualify for a 75% remittance from the Department of Revenue.
Solar Washington’s Policy Committee Chair, Howard Lamb, and Coordinator, Patrick Nugent, worked toward this signing through successful outreach efforts over the past several months. Also supporting the bill were Environment Washington and the NW Energy Coalition.
Here are some of the details of the new bill:
  • Section 1502: Extends the 75% sales tax exemption for PV Systems over 10 kW until January 1, 2020. Customers must pay all sales tax up front, but are eligible to receive a 75% exemption through a remittance from the DOR the following quarter. The law states that a person can only apply for a remittance once per quarter and must provide proper supporting documentation (e.g. an invoice along with description of the equipment) in order to qualify.
  • Section 1602: Extends the sales tax exemption for PV Systems 10 kW and under until June 30, 2018.  It also exempts solar hot water systems capable of producing no more than 3 million BTUs per day which is about sixty times larger than an average residential system. Customers are not required to pay sales tax upfront so long as they fill out an exemption certificate.

For more information go to Solar Washington’s website.