Erin McKeown worries about what may be in the landfill underneath the Montlake parking lot and intramural sports fields, but she is more concerned that she does not know everything that was once dumped in the landfill.
According to the industrial hygienist from UW Environmental Health and Safety, the only way to be sure what is in the landfill is to dig it up. This, she said, is more of a health and ecological hazard than leaving the site alone.
The area around Montlake is a class-four Superfund site, on a one to five scale of environmental hazard, based on what examinations of soil samples have found and because what has been unearthed from the site has not been shown to be extremely hazardous. A class-one site requires immediate action, like Gasworks Park, while a class five is comparable to an average backyard.
However, the unearthing of, say, major heavy metals may up the classification.
McKeown said the site was given a low ranking because it is not believed to be leaking significant amounts of pollution into Lake Washington and it is not seen as an immediate threat to the environment or humans because the site is relatively undeveloped.