Seattle buys restoration credits for Duwamish cleanup

SEATTLE -- The City of Seattle has agreed to pay a company to restore natural resources as a way to settle its liability for pollution in the Lower Duwamish Waterway.

The Duwamish Superfund Site is one of the largest in Washington State and includes the stretch of the Duwamish River that flows into Elliott Bay.

Over the years, industrial and municipal operations have polluted the site with hazardous substances.

On Thursday, Justice Department announced that Seattle agreed to resolve its liability by purchasing about $3.5 million worth of restoration credits from Bluefield Holdings, a company that develops restoration projects.

Officials say this is the first settlement that uses credits for projects developed by a company.

Each project addresses natural resource injuries at the site. The trustees will oversee the projects to ensure they are implemented properly.