I & J Waterway

I & J Waterway cleanup site map
Please click on the photo for a larger view


Cleanup Documents Available for Public Review and Comment

Comment Period:  February 19 - March 20, 2019

 Información en español abajo

The Department of Ecology invites you to review and COMMENT on a cleanup action plan and associated documents for the I & J Waterway Cleanup Site on the Bellingham waterfront. The plan calls for removing and capping contaminated sediment, monitoring, and restricting uses. See our Fact Sheet for a general overview of the cleanup plan.

The plan is part of a legal agreement, called an agreed order, between Ecology, the Port of Bellingham (Port), and Bornstein Seafoods (Bornstein). The agreed order requires the Port and Bornstein to design the sediment removal work described in the plan. The following documents are available for review and comment February 19 – March 20, 2019:

Online Comments
Please submit comments through our Online Comment Form or email Lucy McInerney, Ecology’s Site Manager (see link in the column to the right).

More Information?

  • Attend a tour of the Site. RE Sources for Sustainable Communities hosted a walking tour of the Site on Saturday, February 23. Watch an attendee's video here

Ecology, Port, and Bornstein site managers were available during the tour to answer questions.

For details visit http://www.re-sources.org/events.

  • Contact Ian Fawley, Ecology Public Involvement Coordinator. See contact information in the column to the right.
  • Request a meeting. If ten or more people request a meeting about the Cleanup Action Plan, Ecology will provide notice and hold a meeting.
En español

El Departamento de Ecología le invita a comentar sobre un reporte ambiental para el sitio que está contaminado I & J Waterway en Bellingham. 

Si le gustaría recibir este documento en español, por favor llame a Gretchen Newman al 360-407-6097 o envíe un correo electrónico a preguntas@ecy.wa.gov.  Traducciones de avisos públicos para los sitios de limpieza de la Bahía de Bellingham se preparan bajo solicitud. 


The Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA; Chapter 70.105D RCW) is Washington’s environmental cleanup law. It provides requirements for contaminated site cleanup and sets standards that protect human health and the environment. Ecology enacts the MTCA and oversees cleanups. The MTCA site cleanup process is completed in steps (see graphic below) over a variable timeline.

Please click on the photo for a larger view


  • February 19 – March 20, 2019:  30-day public comment period.
  • February 23, 2019:  RE Sources for Sustainable Communities hosts a walking tour of the Site.
  • 2019:  Finalize the cleanup action plan. Ecology will review and consider all comments received as we finalize the cleanup action plan. We will provide a written response to comments received.
  • 2020/2021:  Complete design of the removal work described in the cleanup action plan.
  • 2021/2022:  Begin implementing the removal work.  Implementation will occur under a new legal agreement reviewed by the public.
  • 2023 and beyond: After the removal work is complete, design and performance of the remainder of the work described in the cleanup action plan will occur under separate legal agreements reviewed by the public.


Current I & J Waterway cleanup site Public Participation Plan

This plan describes how Ecology will share information with the community and how you can share information with us. Ecology will review this plan as the cleanup progresses and amend/update it as necessary.

I & J Waterway looking southwest, May 2001
Please click on the photo for a larger view


Site History
The I & J Waterway cleanup site is about 3.1 acres in Bellingham Bay, between Hilton Avenue and Bellwether Way. Property owners within the Site boundaries are the Port of Bellingham and the state of Washington.

The Site consists of contaminated marine sediments in the waterway and nearby ship-berthing areas.

The contamination is the result of shoreline industrial activities of former owners and port tenants. Portions of the Site were used for lumber mill operations from the early 1900s through 1972. Other industrial operations within the Site boundaries included a rock-crushing plant from 1963 to 1992, frozen food processing from 1946 to 1959, and a seafood processing plant that has been in operation since 1959.

Environmental investigations indicate the presence of hazardous substances in marine sediments, including:
• polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
• phthalates
• phenols
• nickel

Other contaminants found at the Site:
• dioxins and furans
• polychlorinated biphenyls
• mercury

Dioxins/furans are present throughout Bellingham Bay from many sources including former pulp and paper mills and wood treating operations, and on-going burning activities. Mercury is related to past discharges from the Georgia-Pacific Pulp Mill.  The source of PCBs is unknown. The contamination must be addressed under the state’s toxics cleanup law, the Model Toxics Control Act.

Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot
The I & J Waterway site is one of 12 sites coordinated through the Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot.  The Pilot is a bay-wide multi-agency effort to clean up contaminated sediment, control sources of sediment contamination, and restore habitat, with consideration for land and water uses. In 2000, participants in this initiative developed the Bellingham Bay Comprehensive Strategy.



Map showing site location as Whatcom County, WA SITE INFORMATION


View Electronic Documents

Site Summary Report

Facility Site ID: # 3145643

Cleanup Site ID: 2012

Bellingham, Whatcom County

Status: Cleanup Started   Get definitions of Status terminology

Lucy McInerney
Site Manager
(425) 649-7272

Ian Fawley
Public Involvement Coordinator
(360) 255-4382

Document Repositories:

Northwest Regional Office
3190 160th Ave SE
Bellevue, 98008-5452

Ecology Bellingham Field Office
913 Squalicum Way, Unit 101
Bellingham, 98225

Bellingham Public Library
210 Central Ave
Bellingham, 98227