Public comment sought for waste removal plan

Published on Wed, Jan 15, 2014
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The Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) is seeking public comment on a plan to dispose of contaminated soil that was excavated from a building site on  Port of Bellingham harbor property.

During a routine environmental investigation of a cleanup site in Blaine, crews found contaminated soil within the footprint of a new building that was under construction in the Blaine Harbor industrial area.

The 1.5-acre site is located near the end of Marine Drive, off McMillan Avenue. Part of the site is underwater. The new 
building site being excavated for Boundary Fish Co. extends into the cleanup site.

The Port of Bellingham and the DOE have removed approximately 230 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the site. The soil is contaminated with low levels of metals and hydrocarbons. The soil is being stockpiled nearby while arrangements are made to properly dispose of it.

Crews have been investigating the area known as the Westman Marine cleanup site for contamination left behind from previous boat and shipyard work dating back to the 1940s.

This investigation is part of a larger effort by the Port of Bellingham and DOE to determine the extent of historic contamination, design a cleanup project and restore the site.

Rather than wait for the final site-wide cleanup work a few years from now, the Port of Bellingham has proposed an interim project to safely remove and properly dispose of the contaminated soil now.

The DOE invites the public to comment on the proposed interim project through Wednesday, February 12. The project details can be reviewed on the DOE’s website, at the Blaine Public Library or in DOE offices in Bellingham and Bellevue.

Comments can be submitted to Jing Liu, DOE site manager, at jing.liu@ecy.wa.gov or to 3190 160th Avenue SE, Bellevue, WA 98008. DOE will review all comments, and the work may be modified based upon comments received.