On December 10, 2018 EPA's Removal Program received information from its Criminal Investigation Division (CID) about a private property in Connell, Franklin County, Washington where containers of various regulated agricultural chemicals had been burned and buried. The site had been initially discovered by Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology), who then referred the site to CID. Photos and video taken during an initial site investigation indicated several burn locations, several acres of stained soil, buildings with mismanaged chemicals, and at least one pit where shuttles (totes) of chemicals had been illegally buried and were releasing liquids into soil and potentially groundwater. Ecology requested assistance from EPA's Removal program to ensure subsequent investigation and cleanup were conducted timely and properly.
Due to unfavorable weather conditions and the remote physical location of the sites, initiating a removal immediately was not practical. With oversight by EPA and Ecology, starting Monday May 13, 2019, the owner of the subject properties initiated a removal of abandoned chemical containers and contaminated soil.