Facility Site ID: 18898 Cleanup Site ID: 11907

  • Site Status

  • Cleanup Started

Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (Ri/Fs) Completed

The Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) is completed for the Site. The Remedial Investigation (RI) identifies contaminants, measures how much there are, and where they are located. The Feasibility Study (FS) proposes several cleanup alternatives that will protect human health and the environment. The FS also compares cleanup options for their cost and benefits, like protectiveness, permanence, and other requirements.

The reports are large and divided into three parts for easier viewing.

A fact sheet briefly summarizes the RI/FS.

The Amendment to Agreed Order DE 9781 is final. The amendment requires the PLPs to write a preliminary draft cleanup action plan. Ecology will write the draft cleanup action plan. 

We held a comment period from January 16 to March 16, 2020, for public comment on the RI/FS and amendment to the Agreed Order. We received 18 comments. The Responsiveness Summary contains our responses to the comments received.

Other documents related to this site can be viewed by clicking on the link "View Electronic documents" on the right under the column called "Site Information".

Next Steps

The potentially liable persons (PLPs) will prepare a preliminary draft cleanup action plan. We will use the preliminary plan to prepare a draft Cleanup Action Plan.

The draft Cleanup Action Plan and a new order to put the plan into effect will be available for public comment before they are finalized.

Site Description

Western Port Angeles Harbor Study Area (left, yellow outline) and Rayonier Mill Study Area (right, blue outline)
Western Port Angeles Harbor Study Area (left, yellow outline) and Rayonier Mill Study Area (right, blue outline)

In 2008, we launched an investigation of Port Angeles Harbor through the Puget Sound Initiative and learned that toxic substances contaminated harbor sediments that may pose a threat to human health and the environment, including fisheries and shellfish beds.

People, pets, or wildlife may be exposed to hazardous chemicals by physically contacting or consuming contaminated sediment.  Eating contaminated seafood can also expose people and wildlife to hazardous chemicals.  

The harbor sediments investigation showed separate sources of sediment contamination in Western Port Angeles Harbor and the Rayonier Mill Study Area.

In the past, industries along the western shoreline of the harbor generated liquid waste and released it directly into the harbor and lagoon. Contaminated stormwater was discharged into the harbor. Several pulp and lumber mills burned salt-laden wood debris as a fuel source. Burning this debris formed hazardous substances, like dioxin, that rose up through smoke stacks and settled out onto marine sediments.

Based on sampling in Western Port Angeles Harbor Study Area, we learned where the contamination was located and identified the contaminants in the sediment that were above state cleanup levels. 

Sediment Management Areas

Western Port Angeles Harbor Sediment Management Areas
Western Port Angeles Harbor Sediment Management Areas

The large area of the western harbor was divided into smaller areas called Sediment Management Areas (SMAs) for planning cleanup. 

  • SMA 1 is 37 acres in the inner harbor. This is where some of the highest levels of contamination is found. This area has over-water structures, areas prone to erosion, and relatively shallow depths.
  • SMA 2 is the 25-acre lagoon. It is shallow with limited access and located on private property, which presents cleanup challenges. 
  • SMA 3 includes the other 1,100 acres and has lower, wide-spread levels of contamination. The shoreline has many over-water structures and much of the area is deeper than 50 feet, which presents challenges for cleanup. 

Methods For Sediment Cleanup In Western Harbor

Methods for sediment cleanup include excavation, capping, enhanced monitored natural recovery, and monitored natural recovery. The cleanup will meet Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA; Washington's cleanup law) requirements and prevent exposure of people and other animals to contamination in sediment. 

  • Excavation removes the contaminated sediment from the intertidal or sea bottom and disposes the contaminated material offsite. Subtidal excavation is called dredging. 
  • Capping covers contaminated sediment with about a 2-food layer of clean sand, gravel, and/or rock. The cap prevents exposure of aquatic life to the contamination. A cap requires an environmental covenant to protect the integrity of the cap in the future. 
  • Enhanced Monitored Natural Recovery places a 6-inch layer of clean sand or gravel on top of contaminated sediments to jump-start the natural recovery process that occurs through the natural deposition of cleaner material. 
  • Monitored Natural Recovery requires regular checks on natural deposition to make sure new, cleaner material covers contaminated sediment over time as expected. Recovery by natural deposition occurs relatively slowly in the Western Port Angeles Harbor. Contaminants in sediment would be monitored until cleanup levels are reached.  

If needed, cleanup to control upland pollution sources will be handled separately by the upland property owners and Ecology.

Find Other Cleanup Sites

In Washington State, we've identified over 13,000 contaminated sites in need of cleanup. Over 7,000 of those sites have been cleaned up, and 200 to 300 new sites are reported every year.

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Legal 9
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Final Western Port Angeles Harbor AO Amendment 1 signed 12/7/2020 Agreed Order Amendment
Owens Corning Determination Western PA Harbor 11/14/2013 Final Potentially Liable Person Status Letter
Western Port Angeles Harbor Final Agreed Order 5/28/2013 Agreed Order
DNR Western Harbor PLP Notice 9/18/2012 Final Potentially Liable Person Status Letter
City of Port Angeles Western Harbor PLP Status Letter 9/18/2012 Final Potentially Liable Person Status Letter
Merrill & Ring Western Haror PLP Status Letter 9/18/2012 Final Potentially Liable Person Status Letter
Georgia Pacific Final PLP Status Letter 9/18/2012 Final Potentially Liable Person Status Letter
Nippon Western Harbor PLP Status Letter 9/18/2012 Final Potentially Liable Person Status Letter
Port of Port Angeles Western Harbor PLP Status Letter 9/18/2012 Final Potentially Liable Person Status Letter
Map 1
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Map of North Olympic Peninsula Regional Background Sampling Locations 5/3/2013 Map
Public Information 19
Document Title Document Date Document Type
2020 Western Port Angeles Harbor Comment Period Commenters Contact List 12/10/2020 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
2020 Western Port Angeles Harbor Comment Period Comments 12/10/2020 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Western Port Angeles Harbor Sediment Cleanup Unit RI/FS Responsiveness Summary 9/28/2020 Responsiveness Summary
Western Port Angeles Harbor Fact Sheet for RI/FS 12/24/2019 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
2017 Open house Presentation 5/9/2017 Multimedia
Western Port Angeles Harbor AO Responsiveness Summary 5/24/2013 Responsiveness Summary
North Olympic Peninsula Regional Background SAP Public Forum Presentation 4/8/2013 Multimedia
Western Port Angeles March 28, 2013 Public Meeting Presentation 3/28/2013 Multimedia
North Olympic Peninsula Regional Background Fact Sheet 3/20/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Western Port Angeles Harbor Agreed Order Fact Sheet 3/13/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Western Port Angeles Harbor Public Participation Plan 3/13/2013 Public Participation Plan
Port Angeles Sediments Investigation SIR and SDE Responsiveness Summary 12/18/2012 Responsiveness Summary
Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation Open House Presentation 3/13/2012 Multimedia
Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation Reports Comment Period Extension Postcard 3/5/2012 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation Reports Fact Sheet 2/14/2012 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation Study Design Responsiveness Summary 10/14/2008 Responsiveness Summary
Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation Study Design Open House Presentation 5/13/2008 Multimedia
Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation Public Participation Plan 4/21/2008 Public Participation Plan
Port Angeles Hardor Sediments Investigation Sampling Plan Fact Sheet 4/15/2008 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Technical Reports 24
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Western Port Angeles Harbor - Source Control Letter 7/15/2021 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Western Port Angeles Hbr RI/FS Part 2 FS: Section 10 to 16 12/7/2020 Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study
Western Port Angeles Hbr RI/FS Part 3 Appendices A to K 12/7/2020 Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study
Western Port Angeles Hbr RI/FS Part 1 RI: Section 1 to 9 12/7/2020 Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study
Western Port Angeles Harbor - Approval of Western Port Angeles Harbor Sediment Cleanup Unit Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study 11/18/2020 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Western Port Angeles Harbor - Revisions requested on Public Review Draft Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study 10/14/2020 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Ecology Comments on Western Port Angeles Harbor Sediment Cleanup Unit RI/FS Public Review Draft 7/17/2019 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Request for Extension 12/21/2017 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Western Port Angeles Supplemental Data Report Appendices F - J 2/5/2014 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Western Port Angeles Supplemental Data Report with Appendices A - E 2/5/2014 Site Specific Technical Document - other
North Olympic Peninsula Regional Background Sampling Validated Data 8/5/2013 Site Specific Technical Document - other
North Olympic Peninsula Regional Background Data Validation Report 7/31/2013 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Western Port Angeles Harbor RI/FS Sampling and Analysis Plan 6/14/2013 Sampling and Analysis Plan
North Olympic Peninsula Regional Background Sampling and Analysis Plan 5/24/2013 Sampling and Analysis Plan
Port Angeles Harbor Preliminary Sediment Cleanup Objectives 5/22/2013 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Western Port Angeles Harbor RI/FS Work Plan 5/20/2013 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
Port Angeles Harbor Sediment Dioxin Source Study 2/28/2013 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation Report Appendix K 12/18/2012 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation Report Appendices D through J 12/18/2012 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation Report Appendices A through C 12/18/2012 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation Supplemental Data Evaluation 12/18/2012 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation Report 12/18/2012 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Final Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Investigation Sampling and Analysis Plan 6/28/2008 Sampling and Analysis Plan
Port Angeles Harbor Summary of Existing Information and Identification of Data Gaps 4/4/2008 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Natural Resource Damage related documents 22
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Western Port Angeles Harbor Order Entering CDs 6/9/2021 NRDA Legal Document
Western Port Angeles Harbor NRDA City Consent Decree Signed by Judge 6/9/2021 NRDA Legal Document
Western Port Angeles Harbor NRDA Group Consent Decree Signed by Judge 6/9/2021 NRDA Legal Document
Port Angeles Harbor Trustee Council Resolution No. 6 6/3/2021 NRDA Legal Document
Western Port Angeles Harbor DARP 5/20/2021 NRDA Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan
Western Port Angeles Harbor NRDA April 7 DARP and CD Presentation 4/7/2021 NRDA Communication
Western Port Angeles Harbor DARP CDs Reminder of meeting and comment period 4/5/2021 NRDA Communication
Western Port Angeles Harbor Email - DARP and CDs Comment period and meeting announcement 3/25/2021 NRDA Communication
Western Port Angeles Harbor Preassessment Screen for the Port Angeles Harbor Reference List 3/25/2021 NRDA Preassessment
Western Port Angeles Harbor Proposed Estimate of Natural Resource Damages in Port Angeles Harbor Reference List 3/25/2021 NRDA Injury Assessment
Western Port Angeles Harbor Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan Reference List 3/25/2021 NRDA Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan
Western Harbor Combined Letters: Re: NRD Kickoff Meeting WPAHG 3/23/2016 NRDA Communication
Western Harbor Followup Letters Re: Natural Resource Damage claims at Port Angeles Harbor 1/20/2016 NRDA Communication
Western Harbor Letters Re: Request to discuss NRD claims for Port Angeles Harbor 12/10/2015 NRDA Communication
Western Harbor Letter Re: Damage Assessment 5/30/2014 NRDA Communication
Western Harbor Damage Assessment Cover Letter 5/1/2014 NRDA Communication
Western Harbor Proposed Estimate of Natural Resource Damages 5/1/2014 NRDA Injury Assessment
Western Harbor Trustee Letter Transmission of NRDA Approach 3/4/2014 NRDA Communication
Western Harbor response to August 16, 2013 Trustee Letter 9/6/2013 NRDA Communication
Western Harbor Letters: Notification of Natural Resource Damages Claim 8/16/2013 NRDA Communication
Preassessment Screen for the Port Angeles Harbor 8/1/2013 NRDA Preassessment
Western Harbor: Port Angeles Harbor Memorandum of Agreement Natural Resource Trustees 3/27/2012 NRDA Legal Document
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

  • Southwest Regional Office
    300 Desmond Dr SE
    Lacey, 98503-1274
    Please schedule an appointment to view print documents at this location.
  • Port Angeles Library
    2210 South Peabody Street
    Port Angeles, 98362
    This location may only have print documents available during open comment periods.

Contaminants 7

Contaminant Type
Soil
Groundwater
Surface Water
Air
Sediment
Bedrock
Metals - Metals - Other C
Halogenated Organics - Polychlorinated biPhenyls (PCB) C
Pesticides - Halogenated Pesticides C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Phenolic Compounds C
Halogenated Organics - Dioxins/Furans C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons C
Pesticides - Non-Halogenated Pesticides 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.