Department of Ecology News Release - August 12, 2010

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Sampling starts soon at Port Angeles Rayonier Mill property

OLYMPIA – Before the end of August, there will be a flurry of activity on the former Port Angeles Rayonier Mill property as groundwater and soil sampling begins.

Rayonier is collecting the samples to answer important questions about soil contamination and whether groundwater still carries contamination to the Port Angeles Harbor, even though the mill closed 13 years ago.

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) this week gave Rayonier Properties LLC the green light by approving the sampling plan. Exact dates for sampling will be announced soon.

The sampling is part of the work required under the agreed order Ecology and Rayonier signed in March 2010. This legal agreement defines all the remaining investigatory work needed to design cleanup on the former mill property and adjacent areas in the harbor. Actual cleanup is the next step after this work is finished.

Rayonier will conduct the sampling in phases. The first phase includes surveying the beach for seeps and collecting groundwater samples from 24 monitoring wells across the property. Surface water samples from Ennis and White creeks will be collected to check for specific contaminants.

The results will help pinpoint where to place new monitoring wells, and where to collect more groundwater and soils in the next phases of sampling.

This will be the first groundwater monitoring done on the property in nearly six years.

Each round brings Ecology and Rayonier closer to having the core information necessary for the cleanup:

More sampling will take place this fall and winter, resulting in a data summary report in mid-2011. Groundwater and shoreline seep stations will continue to be monitored on a quarterly basis.

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Media Contact: Seth Preston, Ecology communications manager, seth.preston@ecy.wa.gov (only available by e-mail on 8/12/2010)

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