Department of Ecology News Release - June 7, 2016

Additional groundwater tests begin at Boulevard Park

BELLINGHAM – Consultants working for the city of Bellingham will install more groundwater monitoring wells this week along the northern portion of Boulevard Park’s shoreline.

The work is part of a comprehensive environmental study of pollutants from a manufactured gas plant that operated from the 1890s to 1950s in what is now upper Boulevard Park. The Department of Ecology is overseeing work at the area, which is designated as the South State Street Manufactured Gas Plant cleanup site. 

Groundwater monitoring at the site found pollutants, including elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), petroleum hydrocarbon compounds and benzene. But the scope of groundwater impacts is not known. Water samples from additional wells will better define the extent of the contamination.

“We are still in the information-gathering stage of cleanup,” said John Guenther, Ecology site manager. “Once we know the footprint of groundwater pollutants, we can fold this into our understanding of the entire site and design cleanup options.”

The work is expected to start Wednesday and should take about a week.

Ecology expects results of the comprehensive environmental study of the site, and an evaluation of cleanup options, to be ready for public review in 2017.


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