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Paine Field News

Posted on: August 23, 2018

Airport teams up to help protect Puget Sound from oil leaks


Nearly half of Washington’s aerospace manufacturing jobs can be found at or around Snohomish County’s Paine Field Airport. All those jobs also mean myriad cars and trucks tucked away for hours each day in surrounding parking lots.

Vehicles can leak oil and other automotive fluids. Combined, each little drip adds up to a big problem. Data suggest 7 million quarts of motor oil and other petroleum products each year slip into Puget Sound and its watershed, much of it as contaminated storm water runoff.

Before daybreak Aug. 16, airport environmental and wildlife manager Andrew Rardin teamed up with his counterparts from the Boeing Co. and Washington State University’s Snohomish County Extension natural resources programs. Backed up by a bevy of volunteers, they went looking for leaks among vehicles parked at Boeing’s BOMARC Campus just east of the airport on 24th Place W in south Everett.

The team spread out drip sheets beneath 135 vehicles. A total of seven were found to be leaking. They also spread the word about the Don’t Drip and Drive program, which aims to reduce avoidable environmental harm by encouraging vehicle maintenance and repairs.

Paine Field Airport participates in Don’t Drip and Drive and similar programs as part of its Dream Greener initiative.

Dream Greener is a joint effort with Chubu Centrair International Airport in Nagoya, Japan. It aims to exchange technology and strategies that support environmental sustainability. Both airports also support Boeing 787 Dreamliner activities.

Paine Field on June 1 became the first airport in the state to require all new building projects to meet or exceed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standard for green construction. LEED certification is recognized for encouraging buildings that save electricity, lower carbon emissions and provide healthier work environments.

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