Port Gardner Bay Cleanup up for Comments

The Port of Everett is planning to dig contaminated sediments out of Port Gardner Bay in order to 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.

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.

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