Port of Port Angeles OKs More Money for Cleanup of Former Mill Site

By Arwyn Rice, May 28, 2013, Peninsula Daily News

Port of Port Angeles commissioners approved Tuesday an additional $35,000 to clean up contamination from the former Peninsula Plywood site.

The $35,000 will cover the cost of three sediment contamination tests immediately offshore as part of the demolition of the industrial site at 439 Marine Drive that was home to the PenPly plant and will map pipelines running underneath the 19-acre site leading to the former Peninsula Fuel station on the south side of the property.

The current agreement caps the limit at $185,000, but the additional work was requested by the state Department of Ecology and will raise the cap to $210,000 in contamination cleanup, according to a report presented to the commissioners.

“The nature of this project is to develop an environmental cleanup plan to ensure ground contaminates aren’t able to migrate to the Port Angeles Harbor, in compliance with the Department of Ecology agreed order,” the report said.

The cleanup is not directly associated with the larger Port Angeles Harbor cleanup project but has related purposes.

Partially responsible

Ecology has named the city, the Port of Port Angeles, Georgia-Pacific LLC, Nippon Paper Industries USA and forest services company Merrill & Ring as at least partially responsible for cleaning up such contaminants as heavy metals that were found in the harbor during a 2008 Ecology study.

A crew already was scheduled to take samples for that project, which reduced the cost of the sampling for the port, said Jesse Waknitz, the port’s environmental specialist.

Tests will include surface sediment in the harbor directly adjacent to the site where a stormwater pipe discharge was located, said Jeff Robb, the port’s executive director.

The site at 439 Marine Drive was home to plywood mills under four different owners from 1941 until it permanently closed in 2011.

The port, which owns the site, has a $1.6 million contract with Rhine Demolition LLC of Tacoma to level the structures on it.

The site-demolition contract with Rhine was slated for completion by May 3.

All debris from the site is expected be removed this week, Robb said.

The commissioners were scheduled to finalize the work order Tuesday, accepting work completed on the PenPly removal project, but that has been rescheduled to the June 10 meeting, he said.

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