Department of Ecology News Release - June 30, 2015
EVERETT – A proposed legal agreement is designed to shape a major cleanup project that will address decades-old contamination in Everett’s East Waterway, part of Port Gardner Bay.
Historical industrial activities deposited contamination – including various chemicals and metals – into and near the waterway.
The public can comment on the legal agreement that includes Kimberly-Clark Corp., which operated a now-closed pulp-and-paper mill adjacent to the East Waterway; the Port of Everett, which owns tidelands in the waterway; the Washington Department of Natural Resources, which also owns tidelands; and the Washington Department of Ecology.
A public comment period runs through July 30. Ecology also will hold a public meeting on July 14 at Everett Station so people can learn more and ask questions about eventual waterway cleanup. Comments are also invited on a draft public participation plan that explains how people can learn about steps in the cleanup process and how to participate.
The draft agreement outlines how the involved parties will investigate contamination in the waterway and then propose options for cleanup work.
East Waterway has been used for industrial activities since the early 1900s. Those activities near and in the waterway have included pulp-and-paper manufacturing; log rafting to support local mills; shipping operations; bulk petroleum operations; manufacturing of heavy equipment and machinery for the oil drilling industry; and naval shipyard work.
Various sampling investigations for East Waterway found in-water sediments contaminated with metals (mercury and copper); polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); phenols and phthalates; total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); and dioxins/furans.
Ecology identified Everett’s Port Gardner Bay as a high-priority, early-action cleanup area under the Puget Sound Initiative. An Ecology team is working with site owners, local governments, area tribes, and others to clean up 11 Port Gardner sites.
Seth Preston, communications, 360-407-6848, @ecologyWA
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