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Agreement Finalized For Purchase And Cleanup Of Seattle Waterfront Property

The Washington State Department of Ecology finalized the first prospective purchaser agreement under new amendments to the state's Superfund law, with Northlake Shipyard, Inc., a Seattle-based marine company. The agreement was the last hurdle before Northlake Shipyard could reopen a bankrupt shipyard along Seattle's Lake Union, the former United Marine, Inc. site.

This is also reportedly the first prospective purchaser agreement in the nation to involve a profit-sharing arrangement between a private company and a government agency. Northlake Shipyard will contribute a portion of its profits each year into a fund capped at $1.1 million to clean up the property.

In a consent decree with Ecology, Northlake Shipyard will pay $400,000 at purchase time into a cleanup fund and will contribute a portion of its profits into the fund for up to 15 years. Over 15 years, the fund is expected to accumulate $1.1 million, which is the estimated cost for cleaning up the contamination caused by past operations at the property. In return, Ecology will not hold Northlake Shipyard liable for any other cleanup costs, unless Northlake Shipyard causes further contamination. Northlake also has the option of using the funds to clean up the site under Ecology's supervision.

Northlake Shipyard will restore ship repair operations on the site, which was most recently owned by United Marine International, Inc. This is reportedly one of only two shipyards in the Seattle area capable of large repair work required on military craft.

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