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Public can comment on Port Gamble Bay cleanup agreement

PORT GAMBLE — The state Department of Ecology is accepting public comment on draft documents for cleaning the old Port Gamble mill site and adjacent shoreline.

The comment period continues through Nov. 12. The draft documents include a legal agreement between the state Department of Ecology and Pope Resources. The agreement, called a consent decree, outlines how Pope Resources will clean up in-bay sediments and the shoreline near the former mill site.

Historic mill operations, wood chipping, log rafting, and storage activities contaminated upland soil and in-water sediments with wood waste and pollutants such as petroleum hydrocarbons and dioxins.

The Port Gamble Bay cleanup area includes the property where the old Pope & Talbot Inc. sawmill manufactured forest products from 1853 to 1995. It also includes property leased from the state Department of Natural Resources from 1970 to 1995. Log transfer and rafting activities took place at the leased property.

A community open house and public hearing is scheduled Oct. 29, 5-8:30 p.m. at the Hood Canal Vista Pavilion, 4740 NE View Drive in Port Gamble. An open house starts at 5 p.m., followed by a presentation at 6 p.m. Public testimony will follow the presentation.

Draft documents available for comment include the consent decree, a draft cleanup action plan, the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist and a draft public participation plan. The cleanup action plan details a preferred cleanup option and a schedule for the work.

The draft public participation plan describes how people can be informed about and involved in the cleanup.

View copies of the draft documents at:

Here’s how to submit comments:

Mail them to Russ McMillan, site manager, Washington Department of Ecology, Toxics Cleanup Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

Email them to russ.mcmillan@ecy.wa.gov.

Port Gamble Bay is one of seven priority bays identified for cleanup 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.

 

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