Open house set next week on Port Angeles Harbor cleanup study

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Officials from the state Department of Ecology will be on hand to explain the next steps in determining how best to clean up the western portion of Port Angeles Harbor at an open house next Thursday, March 28.

The open house will be conducted from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Linkletter Hall at Olympic Medical Center, 939 Caroline St.

It follows the release for public review of three draft documents.

These documents address how the private and public entities that Ecology holds responsible for cleaning up contaminants that historic industrial activity has left at the bottom of Port Angeles Harbor should proceed.

The documents also provide direction for additional analysis of the contaminants, which include toxic metals, ammonia, sulfides and other substances associated with manufacturing wood products.

Public comment

Ecology will accept public comment on these three draft documents — the agreed order between five of the responsible parties, the public participation plan and the remedial investigation and feasibility study work plan — until April 18.

Ecology has determined that the city, the Port of Port Angeles, Nippon Paper Industries USA, Georgia Pacific, forestry company Merrill & Ring and the state Department of Natural Resources all bear some responsibility in removing toxic contaminants found in west harbor sediment after an Ecology study that wrapped up last year.

After reviewing public comments and making any necessary changes, Connie Groven, Ecology’s Western Port Angeles Harbor site manager, said Ecology staff will issue final versions of the aforementioned documents.

“I would expect them to be finalized in the month following the comment period,” Groven said.

The final versions will direct the responsible entities, which Ecology calls potentially liable parties, on how to conduct their own more-detailed analyses of contaminated harbor sediment, surveys that Groven said could start as early as this May.

Three documents

The parties elected to do the additional analyses, Groven said, to fill gaps of information provided by the initial Ecology sediment investigation.

The three documents are available for review in electronic format on Ecology’s website at http://tinyurl.com/DOEComment and in hard copy at the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St.

They also are available by appointment only at Ecology’s Southwest Regional Office, 300 Desmond Drive S.E. in Lacey, and by phoning 360-407-6365.

Comments can be emailed to Groven at Connie.Groven@ecy.wa.gov or mailed to her at Washington Department of Ecology Toxics Cleanup Program, SWRO, P.O. Box 47775, Olympia, WA 98504-7775.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 20. 2013 5:37PM
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