OLYMPIA – 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.
Here are locations where you can view copies of the draft documents:
· Anacortes Public Library, 1220 10th St. Call 360-293-1910 for information.
Here’s how you can submit comments:
· Mail them to;
Hun Seak Park, site manager
Washington Department of Ecology
Toxics Cleanup Program
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600.
Ecology will pay for the 2013 in-water work with funds generated by the state’s voter-approved tax on hazardous substances.
Besides improving the environment, cleanup projects produce economic benefits. Typically, cleanup workers spend money on food, fuel, lodging, and other goods and services in the community where they’re employed, which provides a boost to the local economy.
In addition, economic estimates show that every cleanup dollar that is spent creates:
· $7 in ongoing payroll value.
· $32 in business revenue.
· $6 in new local and state tax revenues.
Ecology identified Fidalgo and Padilla bays in Skagit County as high-priority, “early-action” cleanup areas under the Puget Sound Initiative. That’s an effort by local, tribal, state and federal governments, business, agricultural and environmental communities, scientists, and the public to restore and protect the health of the Sound.
An Ecology team is working with the Port of Anacortes, the city of Anacortes, other site owners, area tribes, and other stakeholders to help shape cleanups at several sites.