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Department of Ecology News Release - February 29, 2015
EVERETT – The Port of Everett wants to dig contaminated sediments out of Port Gardner Bay to help further develop one of the West Coast’s busiest deep-water seaports.
The work would improve the local environment, Puget Sound and navigational access to the port’s Pacific Terminal (shown in photo).
The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking comments through March 30, on a legal agreement and draft public participation plan for the port-owned former Weyerhaeuser Mill A cleanup site. The port uses the site for handling cargo for construction and manufacturing industries, including parts for The Boeing Co.’s jetliners.
The Mill A site at 3500 Terminal Ave. has been used since the late 1800s. Over the decades, activities there included pulp manufacturing, saw milling, ship building, shingle milling, and log handling. Pulping operations stopped in 1980; the port bought the property in 1983.
Since the 1980s, several investigations found metals, various chemicals and organic compounds in upland soils and in-water sediments. In 2012, Ecology signed a legal agreement called an agreed order with the port, Weyerhaeuser, and the Washington Department of Natural Resources, which manages publicly owned tidelands. The agreement outlined how to carry out investigations, studies and a cleanup plan.
Now Ecology, the port and Weyerhaeuser propose a second agreed order. The port plans to conduct an interim cleanup action – a limited, focused cleanup of an in-water portion of the site – by digging out contaminated sediments and wood debris. The materials will be taken to an approved landfill.
Ecology also encourages comments on a draft public participation plan. It details how interested people can be informed about and involved with the site’s cleanup.
Documents on the Mill A cleanup can be viewed at:
Everett’s Port Gardner Bay is a high-priority, early-action cleanup area under the Puget Sound Initiative. That’s an effort by governments; tribes; business, agricultural and environmental communities; scientists, and the public to restore and protect the Sound’s health. An Ecology team is working with site owners, local governments, area tribes, and others to clean up 11 Port Gardner Bay sites.
Seth Preston, communications, 360-407-6848, @ecologyWA
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