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Port Gamble S'Klallam applying for cleanup grant, asking public comment

Port Gamble S
Port Gamble S'Klallam is applying for grants to clean up Point Julia and Gamble Bay.
— image credit: File photo

LITTLE BOSTON — The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe is asking for public input and is providing information about the Brownsfields assessment and Point Julia cleanup plans Oct. 18, 6-8 p.m. at the Port Gamble Longhouse, 31912 Little Boston Road, Little Boston.

"It is very important to have public involvement in these grants," said Destiny Wellman, data specialist with the Tribe, in a news release. "What we are working on will affect the entire community, so it is important to have your say in the matter."

The Tribe is applying for cleanup grants through the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The Tribe received a total of $400,000 from the EPA Brownfields Program  in 2009, according to the news release. Community-wide hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds were used to perform Phase I and Phase II environmental assessments at sites with potential contamination, conduct community involvement activities and human health risk assessments. In addition, the Tribe received a $217,000 Tribal Response Program Grant in 2009, with subsequent annual awards in years 2010 through 2012 to provide meaningful opportunities for public participation.

Brownfields are properties where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence of environmental contamination. Port Gamble Bay is the site of a historic sawmill and manufacturing operation. It was contaminated with a variety of hazardous substances resulting from the historic Pope & Talbot mill operations in Port Gamble that lasted approximately 150 years.

Port Gamble Bay provides the Tribe with treaty fishing resources such as clams, oysters, herring, salmon, and geoduck clams, while the waters provide swimming and canoeing opportunities. This is central to the Tribe’s way of life from historic, cultural, and natural resource perspectives, including economic, ceremonial and subsistence harvesting of fish and shellfish.

Thursday's meeting is an opportunity to review the draft analysis of Brownfields cleanup alternatives for Point Julia.

More information can be found at www.pgst.nsn.us/natural-resources/brownsfields-tribal-response-program. Contact Wellman at (360) 297-6271 or dwellman@pgst.nsn.us for questions.

 

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