The Boeing Auburn Plant produces parts, tools, and assemblies used in the construction of Boeing jets. Past releases of trichloroethene remain in the groundwater of the surrounding area.

Boeing Auburn Cleanup

King County, Washington State

Operations in the past at the Boeing Auburn Plant have resulted in contamination to the groundwater in the surrounding area. The primary chemical of concern (COC) is trichloroethylene (TCE), which is located in a groundwater plume that flows generally north and northwest from the property. The plume is in proximity to parts of Southwest Auburn and Northeast Algona. TCE is a known carcinogen and exposure can occur through oral consumption, touch, or through inhalation of fumes. Vapor intrusion in residential areas above or near the groundwater plume is of particular concern. Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and several chemicals that form as TCE and PCE breakdown, such as vinyl chloride, are also found in the area.

The Washington State Department of Ecology is responsible for overseeing the cleanup of the contamination from The Auburn Plant. A remedial investigation is currently being conducted. In June and July of 2014, Ecology conducted tests using 12 new monitoring wells and 14 direct push borings to determine the extent and area of the contamination as well as ensure there is no immediate danger to public health. Ecology plans to begin a feasibility study to determine cleanup options by 2016 with cleanup slated to begin in 2018.

ESC will be providing technical assistance to Futurewise, a statewide public interest group that promotes environmental protection of Washington’s ecosystems. Check out the resources below for more information and be sure to keep an eye on news for the site.


Washington State Department of Health’s Evaluation of Chemicals in Groundwater

Map of TCE Plume – April 2013

Report on Groundwater Concentrations from June and July 2014 Sampling

Ecology: Steps in the Cleanup Process

Futurewise’s Website

ATSDR Report on Trichloroethylene

ATSDR Report on Vinyl-Chloride

City of Algona’s Website

City of Auburn’s Website

City of Pacific’s Website