Department of Ecology News Release - March 3, 2014


Kelso cleans up contaminated property, plans to put it back into productive use

OLYMPIA – A once-contaminated property in Kelso is gaining a new lease on life thanks to clean-up efforts by the city.

The Washington Department of Ecology is removing the Terry’s Salvage site from its Hazardous Sites List, which clears the way for redevelopment. The city plans to build eight to 10 units of cottage-style affordable housing in partnership with the Lower Columbia Community Action Project.

 “This is a big accomplishment. We are pleased we were able to assist the city in its cleanup goals so plans to build affordable housing can move forward,” said Rebecca Lawson, Ecology Toxics Cleanup Program regional manager.

In fall 2013, the city removed debris and 3,100 tons of contaminated soil before refilling the site with clean soil.

Numerous partnerships assisted with the redevelopment effort. Ecology awarded the city $755,300 in grants to help plan for and clean up the site. The city also received a $77,500 Department of Commerce Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant to remove blight from the site, as well as a $156,275 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to address contaminated soil.

The site was polluted by past automobile salvage yard operations, leaving behind debris, petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These posed a threat to human health and the environment.

The site was abandoned in 2004 and placed on the Hazardous Sites List that same year with a hazard ranking of two (one is the highest ranking out of five). The list consists of sites Ecology has assessed for their risk to human health and the environment. Sites must go through cleanup and meet state standards before Ecology can remove them. The site at 1124 N. Pacific Ave. is now owned by the City of Kelso.

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Media Contacts:

Linda Kent, Ecology communications, 360-791-9830, @ecySW

Nancy Malone, Kelso Planning Manager, 360-423-9922

For more information:

Terry’s Salvage site page (

Ecology’s social media (