Washington State Department of Ecology - October 10, 2013

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Comments sought on Port Gamble Bay cleanup agreement

OLYMPIA – The public is encouraged to comment on draft documents for cleaning up the in-water portion of the Port Gamble Bay and Mill cleanup site.

The comment period starts Friday, Oct. 11, and runs through Nov. 12, 2013. The draft documents include a legal agreement between the Washington Department of Ecology and Pope Resources. The agreement, called a consent decree, outlines how Pope Resources will clean up in-bay sediments and the shoreline near a former mill site.

Historic mill operations, wood chipping, log rafting, and storage activities contaminated upland soil and in-water sediments with wood waste and pollutants such as petroleum hydrocarbons and dioxins.

The Port Gamble Bay cleanup area includes the property where the old Pope & Talbot Inc. sawmill manufactured forest products from 1853 to 1995. It also includes property leased from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) from 1970 to 1995. Log transfer and rafting activities took place at the leased property.

A community open house and public hearing is scheduled from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Hood Canal Vista Pavilion at 4740 NE View Drive in Port Gamble. An open house starts at 5 p.m., followed by a presentation at 6 p.m. Public testimony will follow the presentation.

Draft documents available for comment include the consent decree, a draft cleanup action plan, the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist and a draft public participation plan. The cleanup action plan details a preferred cleanup option and a schedule for the work.

The draft public participation plan describes how people can be informed about and involved in the cleanup.

View copies of the draft documents at:

Here’s how to submit comments:

Port Gamble Bay is one of seven priority bays identified for cleanup under the Puget Sound Initiative. That’s an effort by local, tribal, state, and federal governments; business, agricultural and environmental communities; scientists and the public to restore and protect the health of the Sound.

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Media Contact:  Seth Preston, 360-584-5744 (cell); seth.preston@ecy.wa.gov;

For more information:

Port Gamble Bay website (https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=3444)

Puget Sound Initiative (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/sites_brochure/psi/overview/psi_baywide.html\)

Toxics Cleanup Program (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/cleanup.html)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)