SEATTLE -- After a thorough safety check, two EPA investigators take the first step in a contaminated site inspection...with a splash.
Next stop for the two divers is the bottom of Elliot Bay off West Seattle. They are retrieving monitoring equipment they installed weeks before on the protective cap over a Superfund site.
The agency discovered it needed to fill some information gaps left after the site was buried five years ago under a protective cap. They need to know if the cap is continuing to adequately protect Puget Sound from the toxins left by years of creosote production at the old Wyckoff creosote facility.
Sensor rods planted in the cap will be processed by an Army Corps of Engineers crew on a second boat and then sent off to the University of Texas for analysis.
The agencies have no reason to believe the cap has been compromised but say if there is any sign of leakage they want to know about it before it gets any worse.
The divers wear brightly colored gloves that will reveal any obvious smudges of the buried toxins, and so far none have been discovered. The official results will take a few weeks.