Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot
In 1996, federal, state, tribal and local governments came together to form the Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot team. The mission of the pilot team was to develop a new cooperative, bay-wide approach to clean up contamination, control pollution sources and restore habitat, with consideration for land and water uses at state cleanup sites around Bellingham Bay.
The pilot team is co-managed by the Department of Ecology and Port of
Bellingham, with Ecology as the lead agency for the pilot program.
In October 2000, Ecology issued the pilot team's guiding document, the Bellingham Bay comprehensive strategy and final environmental impact statement.
The pilot team is carrying out the strategy for 12 priority sites around the bay. The sites are mostly the legacy of industrial practices that preceded modern environmental laws. Soil, sediment and groundwater were contaminated by operations at the former Georgia-Pacific pulp and paper mill, municipal landfills, wood treatment plants, shipyards and a coal gasification plant.
The former G-P properties make up the bulk of the pilot project area. The Georgia-Pacific West and Whatcom Waterway sites are more than 250 acres and are all or in part a result of past G-P operations.
The first cleanup site to be completed under the pilot program was the Holly Street Landfill site in 2005. Rough estimates are that all the sites will be cleaned up or in progress by 2016.
Department of Ecology
WA Dept. of Ecology
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