Columbia Gorge Aluminum

Facility Site ID: 95415874 Cleanup Site ID: 11797

What's Happening Now

Proposed energy project

The comment period on the draft Environmental Impact Statement related to proposed Goldendale Energy Storage Project is open until Aug. 9, 2022. It includes the evaluation of impacts on part of the former smelter site called the West Surface Impoundment.

Learn more about this opportunity to comment

Free Flow Power, LLC (FFP) proposes to purchase, clean up, and redevelop this part of the site under a Prospective Purchaser Consent Decree (PPCD) as part of this project. On Nov. 24, 2021, we received a draft Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS), and draft Cleanup Action Plan (CAP) for the proposal. We are reviewing the draft documents and are negotiating the PPCD. We will make the draft RI, FS, CAP, and proposed PPCD available for public review and comment before making a final decision.

Read the proposed project public participation plan for information on how we will engage with the public as cleanup progresses on this part of the project's footprint.

Site-wide revised draft Remedial Investigation

We are also working with liable parties NSC Smelter, LLC, and Lockheed Martin Corporation to investigate and clean up the rest of the site. On June 14, 2022, we received a revised site-wide draft RI that includes additional data that fills gaps in our understanding about the nature and extent of contamination at the site and addresses comments from Ecology and the Yakama Nation. Read the site-wide public participation plan to learn about opportunities to comment and provide input on site-wide cleanup activities.

A thorough investigation and cleanup of this site is a high priority for the Department of Ecology. Cleanup of the full site will proceed regardless of the proposed energy project. We will continue to make sure that activities at the site, whether they are related to cleanup or a future use, meet local, state, and federal requirements to protect the environment.

Site Information

Located at 85 John Day Dam road in Goldendale, next to the Columbia River, the Columbia Gorge Aluminum aluminum smelter operated under various owners until it closed in 2003. Starting in 1980, owners managed hazardous and solid waste at several locations on the site. The facility was added to the Hazardous Sites list in 1990.

Investigation and clean up of the contamination is taking place under an Agreed Order.

Wastewater Permit

Under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater permit, the site currently discharges stormwater and a small amount of sanitary wastewater to the Columbia River. Demolition contractors use best management practices to minimize pollutants in the stormwater. Sanitary wastewater is treated using a small actived sludge system prior to combining with stormwater. For more information, read the NPDES permit, fact sheet, and permit modification fact sheet.

Site use restrictions called institutional controls are in effect

Institutional controls can be fences, signs, or restrictions on how the property is used. For instance, an institutional control may prohibit installing drinking water wells or disturbing a protective cap that isolates contamination. These restrictions keep the contamination contained and keep people from being exposed to the contamination. The controls are usually listed in environmental covenants recorded with the county.

Periodic reviews are required when institutional controls are required at a site. Ecology conducts reviews to make sure the controls remain effective and the cleanup still protects human health and the environment. We conduct periodic reviews about every five years.

Environmental Covenant

County Recording #: Vol. 244, pp.34-47
County Recording Date: 12/4/1987

Covenant Restrictions

  • Restrict Land Use

Media Restrictions

  • Groundwater
  • Soil
Legal 5
Document Title Document Date Document Type
2014 Columbia Gorge Aluminum Agreed Order 10483 3/26/2014 Agreed Order
2013 Columbia Gorge Aluminum NSC Smelter PLP Letter 6/13/2013 Final Potentially Liable Person Status Letter
2011 Columbia Gorge Aluminum Lockheed Martin PLP Letter 8/10/2011 Final Potentially Liable Person Status Letter
2011 Columbia Gorge Aluminum PLP Letter 8/9/2011 Final Potentially Liable Person Status Letter
1987 Columbia Gorge Aluminum Deed Restriction 2/22/1988 Environmental Covenant; Alternative Mechanism
Public Information 3
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Goldendale Energy Storage Project Public Participation Plan 5/4/2022 Public Participation Plan
2014 Columbia Gorge Aluminum Public Comment Notice Agreed Order 10483 3/26/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
2014 Columbia Gorge Aluminum Public Participation Plan 3/17/2014 Public Participation Plan
Technical Reports 15
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Columbia Gorge Aluminum Draft Full-Site Remedial Investigation Volume 4 6/14/2022 Remedial Investigation Report
Columbia Gorge Aluminum Draft Full-Site Remedial Investigation Volume 3 6/14/2022 Remedial Investigation Report
Columbia Gorge Aluminum Draft Full-Site Remedial Investigation Volume 2 6/14/2022 Remedial Investigation Report
Columbia Gorge Aluminum Draft Full-Site Remedial Investigation Volume 1 6/14/2022 Remedial Investigation Report
Draft proposed Goldendale Energy Project CAP 11/24/2021 Cleanup Action Plan
Draft proposed Goldendale Energy Project RI/FS 11/24/2021 Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study
RI Work Plan Addendum 9/18/2020 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
Columbia Gorge Aluminum West Surface Impoundment Groundwater Monitoring Report 7/10/2020 Groundwater Monitoring Report
2017 Columbia Gorge Aluminum Annual Groundwater Monitoring Report 9/8/2017 Groundwater Monitoring Report
RI Phase 1 Work Plan Appendix B 8/31/2015 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
RI Phase 1 Work Plan Appendix A 8/31/2015 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
RI Phase 2 Work Plan 8/31/2015 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
RI Phase 1 Work Plan 8/31/2015 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
1990 Columbia Gorge Aluminum MTCA Site Hazard Ranking 8/30/1990 Site Hazard Assessment Report
1989 Columbia Gorge Aluminum Site Investigation 5/25/1989 Site Specific Technical Document - other
There may be more documents related to this site. To obtain documents not available electronically, you will need to make a public records request.

Places to see print documents

  • Industrial Section
    300 Desmond Dr SE
    Lacey, 98503-1274
    Please schedule an appointment to view print documents at this location.

Contaminants 4

Contaminant Type
Soil
Groundwater
Surface Water
Air
Sediment
Bedrock
Non-Halogenated Organics - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons C
Other Contaminant - Conventional Contaminants, Inorganic C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum-Diesel C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum-Other C
S
Suspected
C
Confirmed Above Cleanup Levels
B
Below Cleanup Levels
RA
Remediated-Above
RB
Remediated-Below
R
Remediated
This contaminant list was based on our best information at the time it was entered. It may not reflect current conditions at the site.