Three years ago, Ecology began a study of dioxins and furans (we refer to them together as dioxins) in surface soils in areas of Port Angeles near the former Rayonier Mill. We looked at two things—the concentration of dioxins in soils, and whether the former Rayonier Mill’s air emissions could have contributed to what we measured. The report is now in and it indicates Rayonier did have a contribution to soil dioxins we found in the study.
Why study soil dioxins?Ecology is already working with Rayonier on the cleanup of the mill property and nearby marine environment. Ecology did this study to figure out if Rayonier also needed to investigate soil dioxins outside of its property. Under state law, a cleanup site is defined by everywhere contamination has come to be. This means that soil dioxins from Rayonier must be addressed as part of the final cleanup.
What happens next?Rayonier and Ecology are currently discussing how to use the study results to plan next steps. Meanwhile, the public can comment on the report from July 14 to August 30, 2011. We will respond to comments and questions at the end of the comment period and consider them in finalizing the report.
How can I find out more information?We have a fact sheet on the study evaluation, plus a “reading guide” that goes into more technical detail. Our website has background information and links to the 2008 study design, 2009 data summary, and older fact sheets.
Ecology is holding an afternoon technical workshop and evening open house on August 3rd at the Port Angeles Senior & Community Center at 328 E. 7th Street. The workshop will be in the craft room (upstairs) from 3-5 pm and will cover more of the technical details of the data evaluation. The open house will be in the Multipurpose Room from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, with a presentation starting at 7:00 pm.
Check back for more blogs on this study and feel free to send me comments or questions at Connie.Groven@ecy.wa.gov.