Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Around the Sound: Cleanup in full swing at Scott site in Anacortes

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

Cleanup work is moving ahead at and around the old Scott paper mill site on Fidalgo Bay. This cleanup is the largest single project to date to begin under the Puget Sound Initiative. The initiative is a comprehensive effort by local, tribal, state and federal governments, business, agricultural and environmental communities, scientists, and the public to restore and protect the Sound.

Ecology is working on the project with the Port of Anacortes and Kimberly-Clark Corp. The Scott site totals about 41 acres between 17th and 20th streets, and east of Q Avenue in downtown Anacortes.

A tour on Monday, March 8, revealed a beehive of activity at the Scott site plus at a related staging area. The project is employing about 70 workers, according to Port staff.

The accompanying photos show several activities at the Port’s Pier 2, where materials are brought for processing.
  • First is a look inside a structure at the pier where workers separate wood and rocks from sediment dug up at the site. Visible in the back is the pile of unprocessed sediment. Once the sediment is cleared of wood and rocks, it’s trucked to a landfill.
  • The second photo shows a mound of wood removed from the sediment.
  • The third photo shows logs removed from the site, and large blue containers used to help recover water from materials brought from the Scott site. The tent-like structure in the background houses water-processing equipment.
  • Here’s an Ecology news release from June 2009 that gives more background on the site and the planned cleanup work.

Other Scott notes:

  • If you’re interested in looking at the Scott site yourself, you can take one of the public tours that the Port gives on the second Monday of each month. Tour participants gather at 4 p.m. on those days at the Dakota Creek Industries office at 4th Street and Q Avenue in Anacortes. But if you want to go, double-check the time and location with the Port of Anacortes to make sure the logistics have not changed.
  • Ecology and Port staff will listen in March 18 as students at Western Washington University present their ideas about the Scott cleanup. As mentioned in earlier Around the Sound entries, the students are learning about environmental cleanup by studying the Scott site. As part of the cleanup agreement for the site, WWU received $100,000 to support scientific research, K-12 education and public outreach.

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