Aerial image of Central Waterfront cleanup site, September 2017
Please click on the photo for a larger view


Last Updated, January 2019

Cleanup process moves forward towards drafting a Cleanup Action Plan

 Información en español abajo

Ecology conducted a public comment period (Sept. 17 – Oct. 16, 2018) on an amendment to a legal agreement (Agreed Order) with the Port of Bellingham and the City of Bellingham. The amendment requires development of a Cleanup Action Plan to address contamination at the Central Waterfront site on the Bellingham waterfront.

Ecology did not receive any comments and has finalized the Agreed Order Amendment and Scope of Work and Schedule.

In March 2018, under the existing legal agreement, the Port and City completed a report (Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study) describing the results of environmental investigations and evaluating cleanup options. The next step in the cleanup process is to develop a Cleanup Action Plan.

En español

El Departamento de Ecología le invita a comentar sobre un reporte ambiental para el sitio que está contaminado Central Waterfront 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


  • 2019:  Public comment on a draft Cleanup Action Plan and begin cleanup design step.


Current Central Waterfront 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. 

Central Waterfront Site in Bellingham
Please click on the photo for a larger view


Site History
The Central Waterfront cleanup site is made up of about 51 acres on Bellingham’s downtown waterfront, between I & J Waterway and Whatcom Waterway, and between Roeder Avenue and the former Georgia-Pacific industrial wastewater treatment lagoon. Property within the site is owned primarily by the Port of Bellingham or City of Bellingham. Beginning in the early 1900s, the site and surrounding tidelands were filled for various industrial uses.

Investigations to date have found contaminants in soil and groundwater associated with these historical industrial uses.
Contaminants include:
• petroleum hydrocarbons
• polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
• metals
• methane gas 

Contaminant levels 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 Central Waterfront 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.


The interim action reports linked below contain appendices with large volumes of laboratory data.  Please contact the site manager for file download.


Map showing site location as Whatcom County, WA SITE INFORMATION


View Electronic Documents

Cleanup Site Details Report

Facility Site ID: # 2864

Cleanup Site ID: 3418

Bellingham, Whatcom County

Status: Cleanup Started   Get definitions of Status terminology

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

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

Bellingham Public Library
210 Central Ave
Bellingham, 98227