Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Around the Sound: Focus on Custom Plywood in Anacortes

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

The weekly Anacortes American newspaper reports that the Port of Anacortes looking at possibly acquiring a site on Fidalgo Bay that’s already designated for cleanup under the Puget Sound Initiative.

The site — a large part of the Anacortes waterfront near 35th Street and V Avenue — previously was home to industrial operations. The Custom Plywood mill, the last occupant, burned down in 1992.

Now the abandoned site is littered with building remnants and debris. Soil samples collected during past investigations showed elevated levels of petroleum (gasoline, diesel fuel, and oil), arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and PCBs. Contamination also has been detected in marine sediments and groundwater.

The photos show what the site looked like during a visit to Anacortes last week.

The site is near a state aquatic reserve and the Tommy Thompson Trail, two significant public resources. Cleaning up contamination will improve environmental conditions at and around the site, and reduce toxic threats to local residents and resources.

Ecology and the Port of Anacortes already are partnering on several cleanup projects around Fidalgo Bay, including the Dakota Creek Industries shipyard; a former Shell Oil tank farm; the former Scott Paper mill; and the Pier 2 log haul-out site.

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