Department of Ecology News Release - July 28, 2014

Cleanup report for Bellingham boat repair facility ready for review
Public comment period runs through Aug. 28

BELLINGHAM – In an effort to address historic contamination from a boatyard on the Bellingham waterfront, the Washington Department of Ecology and Port of Bellingham completed an investigation and published an environmental report, which includes recommendations for cleanup. The public is invited to comment on the report from July 30 to August 28.

Former port tenant Weldcraft Steel and Marine performed boat repair, maintenance and fabrication work at the site from 1946 to 2002. The contamination associated with these activities includes petroleum-related chemicals and metals in the groundwater and soil, and metals in the marine sediment. Contamination at the site is associated with past boatyard work and has no relation to the current port tenant, Seaview Boatyard North.

In 2003 and 2004, as part of interim cleanup work, about 6,800 cubic yards of contaminated marine sediment were removed and disposed of at a permitted landfill. The next phase of cleanup addresses the upland portion of the site.

The recommended upland cleanup includes capping contaminated soil with buildings, foundations and pavement, and removing petroleum product from the groundwater. Potential contaminated vapors will be monitored, and addressed through control systems as necessary. In addition, the plan includes property and groundwater use restrictions to maintain the integrity of the cleanup and to ensure public safety.

The cleanup of the Weldcraft site is estimated to cost about $610,000. Ecology will reimburse the port up to half the cost of cleanup through the state’s Remedial Action Grant program, which helps pay for the cleanup of publicly owned sites. The Legislature funds the grant program with revenues from a voter-approved tax on hazardous substances.

The public is invited to comment on the cleanup report and related documents, which can be reviewed at Ecology’s website and in person at:

If 10 or more people request a public meeting for this cleanup, Ecology will provide notice and hold a meeting. Comments can be sent to Mary O’Herron, Ecology site manager, in writing to mary.oherron@ecy.wa.gov or 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98008-5452.

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Contact:

Krista Kenner, communication manager, 360-715-5205, @ecologyWA

Marie Duckworth, Port of Bellingham communications, 360-676-2500