Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) Site

East Washington Fluff

Community Involvement Activities Public Health Impact Site Hydrogeology
Contacts Public Meeting Calendar Site Map
Contaminants Public Notice Calendar Site Status Update
Online Information Repository Site History

The East Washington Fluff WQARF site is located in Phoenix, Arizona. The site is bounded approximately by Buckeye Road to the north, 5th Street to the east, Pima Street to the south and 3rd Street to the west.

The site's geographic boundaries depicted on the site map represent the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s (ADEQ) interpretation of the data available at the time the map was constructed. The map is intended to provide the public with basic information as to the estimated extent of known contamination, as of the date of map production. The actual extent of contamination may be different. Therefore, the boundaries for the site may change in the future as new information becomes available.

Site Status Update:

On March 13, 2013, ADEQ announced the first completion of cleanup work on a state superfund site the East Washington Fluff site in central Phoenix. A Declaration of Environmental Use Restriction (DEUR) was placed on the property designed to control the release of contaminants that have been left on the site through the placement of institutional and engineering controls. The purpose of a DEUR is to ensure that current and future property owners are aware of contamination on a site and take appropriate actions to prevent unacceptable exposure to the contamination. Monitoring of the site is under the responsibility of the Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP). 

Community Involvement Activities:

A community advisory board (CAB) was formed for this site. They completed their review process and are no longer meeting. Past CAB meeting agendas and minutes can be viewed at the Information Repositories listed below. 

Pile of Auto Shredder Fluff

Site History:

1997: ADEQ conducted site characterization activities. Results indicated cadmium, chromium, lead, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fluff waste at concentrations greater than ADEQ and EPA health-based guidance levels and groundwater protection standards. ADEQ installed a 12-foot fence around the perimeter of the site and posted warning signs.

1999: The site was added to the WQARF Registry on June 16th, with a score of 22 out of a possible 120.

2000: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a targeted site assessment (TSA), in March. EPA installed and sampled three groundwater monitor wells, as part of the TSA. The wells were analyzed for total and dissolved cadmium, total and dissolved lead, total and dissolved chromium, PCBs, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The TSA indicated that the concentrations of PCBs, lead, cadmium, and arsenic in soil were above the health-based action levels.

In December, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) prepared a health consultation report in response to a request from the City of Phoenix (COP). COP requested that the ATSDR evaluate the environmental conditions and determine whether a public health hazard exists as a result of exposure to the contaminated soils at the site. The health consultation concluded:

      • A public health hazard may exist when the site fence is breached and direct contact with superficial materials and/or fluff piles, which contain PCBs, occurs.
      • Off-site exposure to contaminants in blowing dust originating from the site presents no apparent public health hazard.

Early response action at site

2001: In April, ADEQ began an early response action (ERA). The objective of the ERA was to construct an engineered barrier to eliminate the direct exposure pathway between the contaminated media and the human population. In September approximately 5,907 tons of hazardous waste was removed from the site. A total of 819 tons of solid waste was also removed from the site. A protective soil cap was then installed at the site to prevent exposure to any remaining contamination in the soil.

2003: The draft remedial investigation (RI) report was completed and went out for public comment in July.

2006: The final RI report and feasibility study (FS) were completed.

2007: On May 18th, ADEQ filed a DEUR on the property to ensure that the engineered cap remains in place and the property is only used for non-residential uses.

2008: ADEQ sampled the soils under the removed building pad, and analytical results indicated an area of lead contamination at low levels. ADEQ removed the impacted soil (approximately 135 tons).

2010: Harrison Properties (the owner of the site) placed a layer of crushed, recycled concrete material (18 to 24 inches thick) on top of the existing engineered cap.  ADEQ expressed concerns about the concrete placement activities and the potential impacts on the integrity of the engineered cap.  At ADEQ’s request, Harrison Properties’ performed an engineering evaluation of the current approved activities, as well as activities that had already taken place at the site.  A work plan was prepared for the engineering evaluation of the placement of materials on the cap.  ADEQ approved the work plan in October. 

2012: A draft Proposed Remedial Action Plan (PRAP) was submitted.

2013: The PRAP was completed and a final Record of Decision (ROD) on the site was issued. The site was then removed from the WQARF Registry.


East Washington WQARF Site February 2013

The site is ten acres in size and contains significant quantities of auto shredder fluff co-mingled with native soils. The current contaminants of concern at the site include: lead, cadmium, arsenic and PCBs, a substance historically used as cooling oil in electric components. The contaminants of concern are present in the soil only. No contaminants of concern have been detected in the groundwater above the Aquifer Water Quality Standards. Contaminants of concern at the site may change as new data become available.

Public Health Impact:

All surface piles of auto shredder fluff, including the main fluff pile, have been removed from the site. A protective soil cap was installed at the site to prevent exposure to any contamination in the soil. The ADHS has concluded that the soil cap will prevent future direct contact with the contaminants present in on-site soils and wastes at the site and that the cap is protective of human health.

Site Hydrogeology:

The wells at the site are currently dry. The total depth of the deepest well is approximately 86 feet below ground surface (bgs). Four rounds of groundwater monitoring and sampling were completed prior to the wells going dry. The depth to water beneath the site ranged from 76 to 86 feet bgs during the period from July 2000 to April 2001. Groundwater during this period flowed in a west/northwest direction.


Name Phone/Fax E-mail
Rebecca Kearney, ADEQ Remedial Project Manager (602) 771-4226* (602) 771-4138 fax [email protected]
Wendy Flood, ADEQ Community Involvement Coordinator (602) 771-4410*/(602) 771-4236 fax [email protected]

*In Arizona, but outside the Phoenix area, call toll-free at (800) 234-5677.

Online Information Repository:

Interested parties can review site information here on this page and at the ADEQ Record Center located at 1110 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, Arizona. Please contact (602) 771-4380 or (800) 234-5677 ext. 6027714380 for hours of operation and to schedule an appointment. To review site information at a location near you, please contact the designated Community Involvement Coordinator.

Site Map

Registry Report

Site Removed from WQARF Registry