Department of Ecology News Release - April 19, 2016

Next round of Port Gamble Bay cleanup coming up
Meeting on April 26 focuses on second phase of in-water work

Heavy machinery removing wood waste, creosote-coated structures and pilings, and contaminated sediments.

PORT GAMBLE – A major cleanup project restarting this summer will dig up and remove more decades-old contaminated sediments, creosoted pilings and other materials from Port Gamble Bay.

Local residents are invited to an April 26 meeting in Port Gamble to get the latest news from Washington Department of Ecology staff on the project’s second phase of in-water cleanup. The first phase took place between September 2015 and January 2016. (The photo shows work in mid-December 2015.)

Removing wood waste, creosote-coated structures and pilings, and contaminated sediments protects and improves the overall health of the bay for shellfish, fish and people.

Ecology staff will give a presentation and answer questions about the upcoming in-water cleanup at the Port Gamble Bay and Mill site. Contractors will start removing pilings in June, and expand cleanup work in mid-July.

An industrial legacy

For more than 140 years, the now-defunct Pope & Talbot Inc. used the site to manufacture wood products. Pope Resources, created in 1985 as an independent company from Pope & Talbot, took ownership of the mill site at that time. Pope Resources leased the facility to Pope & Talbot until the mill shut down in 1995.

After that, the property was used for sorting and chipping logs, and for handling materials. Historical activities at the site contaminated the mill site and in-water sediments with creosote, dioxin and wood waste.

Pope Resources is leading the cleanup effort under Ecology’s oversight. Altogether, the in-water work will remove:

Meeting information

Contact:

Seth Preston, Ecology communications, 360-407-6848, @ecologyWA