Firefighters and paramedics responded Jan. 4 in Kent to a hazardous chemical leak in a tank at Univar, 8201 S. 212th St. COURTESY PHOTO, Puget Sound Fire

Firefighters and paramedics responded Jan. 4 in Kent to a hazardous chemical leak in a tank at Univar, 8201 S. 212th St. COURTESY PHOTO, Puget Sound Fire

One person taken to hospital after Kent hazardous chemical leak

Five others evaluated on scene Jan. 4 at Univar warehouse along South 212th Street

Paramedics transported one person to a local hospital and five others were evaluated on scene after a hazardous chemical release Wednesday, Jan. 4 at a warehouse in Kent.

Puget Sound Fire and King County Medic One responded at about 2:05 p.m. to Univar, 8201 S. 212th St., according to an email from Puget Sound Fire spokesperson Pat Pawlak. One person evaluated by paramedics was an employee from Univar and the other five were from a neighboring business.

“The tank depressurized right after the initial release, which stopped the leak,” Pawlak said.

Univar Solutions is a nationwide wholesale distributor of chemical products; it stores, packages, and distributes chemical products to meet customer needs. Univar Solutions (formerly Van Waters & Rogers and Univar USA Inc.) has operated at the site since 1974, according to the state Department of Ecology website.

The Univar facility in Kent has a warehouse, office, dock, and parking areas on an 11-acre site, surrounded by other commercial and industrial properties.

Contaminated site

The Department of Ecology is familiar with Univar because of contamination from waste management activities and accidental chemical releases. Studies that started in the 1990s showed that soil in two areas of the eastern portion of the site are contaminated with organic chemicals and chlorinated compounds, according to state documents and a June 2, 2022 update.

“Groundwater is also contaminated,” according to the state report. “Most of the groundwater contamination remains located beneath the property. Some contaminants in the deeper part of the aquifer have flowed north under 212th Street and beneath an adjacent industrial property.”

The Department of Ecology issued an agreed order (a legal agreement) requiring Univar to plan and implement a site cleanup. In 2007, Ecology selected the preferred cleanup activities from the Feasibility Study report.

Since 2008, Univar has been implementing the Cleanup Action Plan, which includes:

• Treatment of contaminated areas using enhanced reductive dechlorination.

• Monitored natural attenuation for treatment of the down-gradient groundwater plume.

• Institutional controls to assure long-term protection of human health and the environment.

• An environmental covenant placed on the property. This covenant is required since contaminants in excess of cleanup standards will remain on the property after the cleanup action.

• Treatment of the source areas and ongoing groundwater sampling. The sampling shows how much groundwater contamination is still present. The sampling information is also used to assess the effectiveness of treatment, so it can be adjusted as necessary.

“Univar is working to complete their environmental covenant,” according to the June 2022 update. “The covenant puts use restrictions on the property to protect human health and the environment. Univar will complete a 5-year review to assess how well the cleanup is working. That 5-year review will go out for public comment in 2023.”

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Courtesy Photo, Sound Transit
Sound Transit postpones Kent Sounder parking garage opening to 2027

Fourth delay since agency in 2017 announced 2023 opening; voters approved funding in 2008

Kent receives $2M King County grant to buy land by Clark Lake Park | Photos

City will own all the property around the lake and keep property from development

Kent judge releases man from jail in Meridian school incident

Judge says ‘I have no other options remaining;’ family to take man to Eastern Washington

Newly sworn-in King County Prosecuting Attorney Leesa Manion. (File Photo)
King County’s new prosecuting attorney announces task force units

Leesa Manion said the units are focused on public safety and “King County’s greatest areas of concern”

18 pedestrians in Kent killed by trains from 2019 to 2022

Many safety improvements ahead at track crossings as city leaders seek quiet zone designation

Kent City Council approves surplus of wetlands near Bridges neighborhood

Land cannot be developed, but a new owner must maintain the property

Kent pedestrian, 70, dies after collision with vehicle on East Hill

Man was crossing SE Kent-Kangley Road Saturday evening, Jan. 21

Auburn man, 18, dies in four-vehicle crash Saturday in Kent

Teen was driver of one of the vehicles along Central Avenue South

Kent Mayor Ralph to deliver State of the City address March 14

Open to the public at Kent-Meridian High School

Most Read