Georgia Pacific West Bellingham

Georgia Pacific West Site aerial map: Chlor-Alkali Area and Pulp and Tissue Mill Area
Please click on the photo for a larger view

CURRENT STATUS

Last Updated, December 2018

Legal Agreement Amendment Available for Public Comment and Review

Comment Period:  December 10, 2018 - January 23, 2019

Información en español abajo

The Department of Ecology invites you to review and COMMENT on an amendment to a legal agreement with the Port of Bellingham. The amendment requires development of a cleanup action plan and all documents necessary to complete design and permitting to address contamination within the Chlor-Alkali Area of the Georgia Pacific West site.

In June 2018, under the existing legal agreement, the Port completed a report describing the results of environmental investigations and evaluating cleanup options. The next step in the cleanup process is to develop a cleanup action plan.

To view the legal agreement amendment click on link below or visit one of the document repository locations listed to the right:

Online Comments:  Please submit comments through Ecology’s Online Comment Form or email the Site Manager (see contact information at the right).

If ten or more persons request a public meeting about this legal agreement amendment, 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 Georgia Pacific West 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.

 


GENERAL CLEANUP PROCESS

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.


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SITE TIMELINE

  • Early 2018: Ecology conducted a public comment period (March 12 – April 10, 2018) on a feasibility study (environmental report) that evaluated cleanup alternatives for contamination within the Chlor-Alkali area of the Georgia Pacific West site in Bellingham.  The Port of Bellingham prepared the report with Ecology oversight.  The Port identified and evaluated a range of cleanup alternatives, leading to a preferred alternative.

    Ecology also held a public meeting (March 15, 2018) at its Bellingham office to provide more information and collect comments.  Click here to view the meeting presentation.

    Ecology has reviewed and considered all comments received on the Feasibility Study. Based on Ecology’s evaluation of the comments, no changes were made to the documents.  

    Ecology issued a Response to Comments to address comments received.
  • Dec. 10, 2018 - Jan. 23, 2019:  45-day Public comment period on legal agreement amendment.
  • Early 2019:  Respond to comments; Finalize legal agreement amendment.
  • Late 2019:  Public comment on draft Cleanup Action Plan.


PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Current Georgia Pacific West cleanup site Public Participation Plan 

This plan includes information for the public regarding opportunities to get involved in the Site cleanup process. The outreach activities and mechanisms presented reflect Ecology’s current plans for keeping the public informed and for receiving information and comments from the public. 


Georgia Pacific - Pulp and Tissue Mill
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SITE DESCRIPTION

Site History
The approximately 74-acre Georgia-Pacific West cleanup site is located at 300 West Laurel Street, on the south side of Whatcom Waterway, in Bellingham. A pulp and tissue mill operated at the site from 1926 through 2007.  The Port of Bellingham acquired property within the site from Georgia-Pacific Corporation in January 2005, and plans to use the property for commercial, retail, and residential purposes.

Environmental investigations of the site showed contamination in two separate and distinct areas.  As a result, in 2013, the port and Ecology agreed to divide the site into two separate cleanup areas to expedite cleanup and support redevelopment.  The two areas are known as the Pulp and Tissue Mill area and the Chlor-Alkali area. 

In 2011 and 2013, interim cleanup actions were conducted to remove contaminated soils and building materials from the site.  The cleanup of the Pulp and Tissue Mill area was completed in 2016.

Contamination
Pulp and Tissue Mill Area (38 acres) contamination addressed (cleanup completed in 2016):
• metals
• low pH
• petroleum hydrocarbons
• volatile organic compounds
• dioxins/furans

Chlor-Alkali Area (36 acres) contaminates include:
• mercury
• high pH (caustic)
• Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
• petroleum hydrocarbons

Contaminant levels within the Chlor-Alkali Area are present at potentially harmful levels and must be addressed under Washington's toxics cleanup law, the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA).

Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot
The Georgia Pacific West 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

Map

View Electronic Documents

Site Summary Report

Facility Site ID: # 14

Cleanup Site ID: 2279

Location:
Bellingham, Whatcom County

Status: Cleanup Started   Get definitions of Status terminology

Contacts:
Brian Sato
Site Manager
(425) 649-7265

Ian Fawley
Public Involvement Coordinator
(360) 255-4382

Lucy McInerney
Project Lead
(425) 649-7272


Document Repositories:

Northwest Regional Office
3190 160th Ave SE
Bellevue, 98008-5452
(425)649-7190

Ecology Bellingham Field Office
913 Squalicum Way, Unit 101
Bellingham, 98225
(360)255-4400

Bellingham Public Library
210 Central Ave
Bellingham, 98227
(360)778-7323