Department of Ecology News Release - March 18, 2015

Cleanup plan for Bellingham shipyard facility ready for review
Public comment period runs through April 7

BELLINGHAM – A plan to remove contaminated sediment, soil and wood structures from a Port of Bellingham-owned shipyard located at 201 Harris Ave. on the Bellingham waterfront is available for the public to review.

Under a legal agreement between the Washington Department of Ecology and the port, the cleanup plan addresses a portion of the contaminated area, while an overall cleanup plan for the entire area is being developed.

Contractors will remove a large volume of contaminated soil, about 15,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment, and creosote-treated pilings. They will also demolish an old building and the pier, which will allow for greater access and removal of contaminated sediment. In addition, the pier will be rebuilt.

The contamination is associated with past ship building and marine maintenance activities and has no relation to the current port tenant, Puglia Engineering.

The cleanup work is estimated to cost about $14 million. Ecology will reimburse the port up to half the cost 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 proposed plan and related documents can be reviewed at Ecology’s website and in person at:

Comments will be accepted through April 7.

In addition, Ecology is hosting a public meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. March 26 at the Technology Development Center in the Douglas G. Smith conference room, 1000 F St. in Bellingham.

Comments can be sent to John Guenther, Ecology site manager, at john.guenther@ecy.wa.gov or 1440 10th St., Suite 102, Bellingham, WA 98225.

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Contact:

Krista Kenner, Ecology communications, 360-715-5205; @ecyNorth