Monday, August 8, 2011

Around the Sound: Cleanup changing Anacortes waterfront

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

Cleanup work continues to reshape the old Custom Plywood site on the shore of Fidalgo Bay in Anacortes.

After four weeks of work, you can see the dramatic transformation going on at the place where the old mill burned down in 1992. The mill’s remains littered the surface with debris. Petroleum, heavy metals, old logs and wood waste, and other materials contaminated soil and groundwater.

Right now, workers are cleaning up about 6 upland acres at the site off 35th Street and V Avenue. They’re removing pilings and other structures so they can dig up about 33,600 tons of contaminated soil. All of that material will be taken away, and the site will be backfilled with about 39,000 tons of clean soil.

In-water work will start in the summer of 2012.

Here’s some background on the Custom Plywood site.

Ecology is overseeing the project. This Ecology news release offers some details on the work and the site.

Not only will the project reduce pollution and restore Puget Sound habitat, it will help give the local economy a boost.

In the long term, current site owner GBH Investments LLC plans to use the property – a major piece of industrial land on the Anacortes waterfront – for building and repairing boats.

And in the short term, cleanup contractor Strider Construction of Bellingham and its subcontractors expect to employ a total of about 40 workers on the project. Workers typically spend money on food, fuel, lodging, and other goods and services in the community where they’re employed.

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