contaminated with wastes from Rayonier’s old pulp mill that once operated in Shelton next to Oakland Bay.
Site studies began in 1997. That same year, Ecology named Rayonier responsible for the site’s cleanup under the state’s Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). MTCA defines the process and steps of cleaning up a polluted site.
What’s been done?Rayonier signed an agreed order (legal agreement) with Ecology in 2001 to investigate contamination and evaluate cleanup options. Since then, Ecology and Rayonier have continued this work:
- Since 2002, Rayonier did many studies of the site to fully characterize the extent of contamination. These studies included testing of soil, groundwater, surface water, sediment, and fish tissue.
- Rayonier turned in a draft investigation report to Ecology in 2012. Ecology is working with Rayonier to finalize the draft report for public review.
- In 2013, Ecology also named Shelton Hills Investors LLC a potentially liable person for the cleanup site. The company bought property south of Goose Lake shown during site studies to include a small area also polluted from past Rayonier activities.
Schedule updateRayonier and Ecology recently agreed upon an updated schedule for finalizing cleanup plans. The schedule is available on the cleanup site webpage.
The next step in the cleanup process is for Rayonier to complete the investigation report. The report will provide detailed information on the contamination that is at the site. Rayonier will use the information to complete the draft feasibility study, which will look at cleanup options.
We expect the draft remedial investigation may be ready for public review and comment this fall. The feasibility study will be due to Ecology soon after. We currently expect the feasibility study may be available for review and comment when other cleanup documents are available in mid-2015. See below on how you can stay informed.
Groundwater monitoringRayonier took additional groundwater samples at the site in June. The goal of this sampling event is to find the current levels of any contamination in groundwater. The sampling results will go into the remedial investigation report. Rayonier will also sample groundwater every 9 months moving forward.
How can you stay informed and weigh in?Public involvement is a key part of MTCA. We value keeping the public informed of major milestones and updates about cleanup sites. As site updates and cleanup plans become available, we will continue to work with the Shelton community, stakeholders, and local media to provide information on the site.
The best way to make sure you are informed is joining our mailing lists. Contact Public Involvement Coordinator Natalie Graves at Natalie.Graves@ecy.wa.gov or 360-407-0067.