USA: Ecology Seeks Public Comments on Anacortes Cleanup

Ecology Seeks Public Comments on Anacortes Cleanup

Continued cleanup of environmental contamination is planned in 2013 at the old Custom Plywood mill site on Fidalgo Bay’s western shore in Anacortes.

In advance of that work, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) invites the public to comment on draft documents related to the next round of cleanup at Custom Plywood.

Comments will be accepted through Oct. 1, 2012, on the draft cleanup action plan and engineering reports, mitigation requirements and the state’s environmental checklist under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). Ecology also revised the public participation plan that details how people will be updated on the cleanup project and how they can be involved.

The site off 35th Street and V Avenue housed a sawmill, a wood box factory and a plywood mill at various times. Fire destroyed the closed plywood mill in 1992.

Site investigations showed elevated concentrations of heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, dioxins and furans in the soil. Groundwater beneath the site also contained elevated concentrations of arsenic, copper and nickel.

In 2011, crews removed pilings, other structures and mill debris to clean up the 6-acre site. They dug up and disposed of about 33,600 tons of contaminated soil, then added about 39,000 tons of clean soil. A wetland also was created.

In 2013, Ecology plans to:

– Remove old creosote dock pilings and other in-water concrete and metal structures.

– Dig up and dredge about 10 acres of sediment contaminated with dioxins and wood waste.

– Dispose of contaminated sediment off-site.

– Improve the near-shore habitat by reshaping an existing spit and jetty.

– Connect Fidalgo Bay with the wetland area that was created in 2011.


Press Release, August 30, 2012

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