Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Around the Sound: Sharing Rayonier cleanup updates in Port Angeles

by Hannah Aoyagi, Public Involvement Coordinator

Ecology’s Rayonier Mill team spent three days last week in Port Angeles, sharing cleanup updates with the community. Our packed schedule included an event with the Olympic Environmental Council and a brown bag lunch at the library, a presentation to City Council, several meetings, and a site visit. A highlight was attending the public unveiling of a conceptual plan for restoring Ennis Creek by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and Rayonier.

So what’s the update?

We reached the first major milestone in the cleanup process by giving Rayonier the go-ahead to start sampling the mill property. About every four weeks over the next six months, Rayonier will have workers onsite collecting groundwater, surface water, and soil data. This work will include:

  • Taking samples from groundwater wells and drilling new wells.
  • Digging pits to take soil samples from.
  • Walking the shoreline to find and sample places where groundwater is seeping into the harbor.
  • Taking surface water samples from Ennis and White creeks.

We also gave updates on the Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation and Rayonier Mill Off-Property Soil Dioxin Study. Within the next few weeks, we are expecting a draft of the soil dioxin report that we can review and then release to the public around the end of the year. The harbor sediments report is being reorganized and will likely come out in early 2011.

What did we hear?

Many stakeholders we spoke with were pleased to hear that sampling was beginning, but still very concerned about the cleanup staying on track. Of particular concern is that we still have not released the harbor sediments or soil dioxin reports. We heard a great deal of support for incorporating Ennis Creek restoration into the cleanup, especially removing the dock and jetty, which will be an integral part of the restoration process.

Your source for cleanup information

As work gears up at the site, it’s important that we keep you informed and involved. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the cleanup or related issues.

  • Questions about the Rayonier Mill cleanup – Marian Abbett or 360.407.6257
  • Questions about the Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation or Rayonier Mill Off-Property Soil Dioxin Study – Connie Groven or 360.407.6254
  • Not sure? Hannah Aoyagi, Public Involvement Coordinator or 360.407.6790

Did you miss us last week?

We'll be at StreamFest in Port Angeles on Sunday, August 29th!

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