Georgia-Pacific West Bellingham

Facility Site ID: 14 Cleanup Site ID: 2279

  • Site Status

  • Cleanup Started
  • Brownfield

  • This site has received funding as part of our Brownfields Program.
    Brownfields Public Funding: $200,000.00

Public Comment Period June 20, 2022-July 19, 2022

Georgia-Pacific West - Lignin Operable Unit

Comment

Outreach Materials

Review Documents

Blog


Public Outreach Events - Wednesday, June 29, 2022 

Noon
In-person walking tour hosted by RE Sources
RE Sources Tour Webpage

RE Sources hosted a walking tour of the unit. Ecology, Port, and Mercy staff joined to share about the cleanup and redevelopment projects and answer questions.

Visit RE Source’s webpage for an informational virtual tour video. 

This tour is funded through a Public Participation Grant from Ecology.
6:30 p.m.
Public meeting hosted by Ecology (in-person with health screening and online) 
Ecology's Lignin Operable Unit Public Meeting Presentation (June 29, 2022)

Current Status

Aerial view of Georgia-Pacific West site and Lignin Operable Unit
Aerial view of Georgia-Pacific West site and Lignin Operable Unit
Last Updated: June 2022
Información en español abajo

Cleanup and legal documents ready for public review
The Department of Ecology (Ecology) invites you to review the cleanup action plan and associated legal documents for the Lignin Operable Unit at the Georgia-Pacific West cleanup site (GP West). The Lignin Operable Unit is located on the Bellingham waterfront within the Chlor-Alkali Area of the GP West site – see map to the left.

Ecology and the Port of Bellingham (Port) have prioritized cleanup of the Lignin Operable Unit to enable purchase by Mercy Housing Northwest (Mercy) for redevelopment as affordable housing. The Port will clean up the Lignin Operable Unit under a legal agreement (Consent Decree Amendment) with Ecology. After the cleanup, Mercy will purchase a portion of the property from the Port and redevelop it under a legal agreement (Prospective Purchaser Consent Decree) with Ecology.

The following documents are available for review:
  • Cleanup Action Plan:  Ecology’s plan that describes the cleanup work to address contamination within the Lignin Operable Unit.
  • Consent Decree Amendment Amendment to a previous legal agreement between Ecology and the Port that requires the Port to complete engineering design documents and clean up the Lignin Operable Unit.
  • Prospective Purchaser Consent Decree: Legal agreement between Ecology and Mercy that settles Mercy’s cleanup liability for the Lignin Operable Unit and details property access requirements and affordable housing development information.

En español

El Departamento de Ecología le invita a comentar sobre un reporte ambiental para el sitio que está contaminado Lignin Operable Unit en Bellingham.  

Si le gustaría recibir este documento en español, por favor llame a 425-324-5901 y espere a que un intérprete se una a la llamada 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) 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.
Click graphic to enlarge
Click graphic to enlarge

Estimated Site Timeline

  • June 20 – July 19, 2022:  Public comment period for Lignin Operable Unit Cleanup Action Plan and associated legal documents. 
  • June 29, 2022: In-person walking tour (noon) hosted by RE Sources through an Ecology Public Participation Grant. Online and in-person public meeting (6:30 p.m.) hosted by Ecology.  See details above.
  • Late Summer 2022:  Ecology finalizes the Lignin Operable Unit Cleanup Action Plan and associated legal documents after addressing public comments received. Port completes engineering design and begins cleanup.
  • By End of 2022:  Port completes cleanup. Mercy purchases a portion of the property from the Port and begins redevelopment.

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. 

Site Description

Georgia-Pacific West site, October 2017
Georgia-Pacific West site, October 2017
Lignin Operable Unit Location and Cleanup Area Management
The approximately 4 acre Lignin Operable Unit is located at the corner of W. Laurel Street and Cornwall Avenue in downtown Bellingham. 

To expedite the cleanup of this unit and enable Mercy to purchase and redevelop a portion of the property after cleanup, the Consent Decree amendment creates the Lignin Operable Unit within the Chlor-Alkali Area of the Georgia-Pacific West cleanup site and sets the cleanup requirements for that Operable Unit. (See map above.)

Future cleanup of the remainder of the Chlor-Alkali Area outside of the Lignin Operable Unit will take place under a second amendment to the Consent Decree.  

Cleanup of the Pulp and Tissue Mill Area of the Georgia-Pacific West cleanup site was completed in 2016.

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.
Legal 14
Map 2
Public Information 24
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Georgia-Pacific West - Lignin Operable Unit Public Meeting Presentation - June 29, 2022 6/29/2022 Multimedia
Georgia-Pacific West - Lignin Operable Unit - Postcard - June 2022 6/14/2022 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Georgia-Pacific West - Lignin Operable Unit - Fact Sheet - June 2022 6/14/2022 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Georgia-Pacific West - Chlor-Alkali Area - Response to Comments - August 2021 8/30/2021 Responsiveness Summary
Georgia-Pacific West - Chlor-Alkali Area - Public Meeting Presentation - July 14, 2021 7/14/2021 Multimedia
Georgia-Pacific West - Chlor-Alkali Area - Postcard - CAP, AO, SEPA - July 2021 7/6/2021 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Georgia-Pacific West - Chlor-Alkali Area - Fact Sheet - CAP, AO, SEPA - July 2021 7/6/2021 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Georgia Pacific West - Chlor-Alkali Area - Agreed Order Amendment Comment Response Summary March 2019 3/6/2019 Responsiveness Summary
Georgia Pacific West - Chlor-Alkali Area - Postcard Agreed Order Amendment - December 2018 12/6/2018 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Georgia Pacific West - Chlor-Alkali Area - Feasibilty Study - Comment Response Summary June 2018 6/14/2018 Responsiveness Summary
Georgia Pacific West - Chlor-Alkali Area Feasibilty Study Meeting Presentation 3-15-18 3/15/2018 Multimedia
Georgia-Pacific West Chlor-Alkali Area FS Fact Sheet - March 2018 3/1/2018 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
2016 Interim Action - Response to Comments - FINAL 1/6/2017 Responsiveness Summary
Interim Action 2016 - Fact Sheet 10/3/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Georgia-Pacific West - Public Participation Plan - November 2014 11/12/2014 Public Participation Plan
Georgia Pacific West - Response to Comments - Pulp and Tissue Mill Area - November 2014 11/12/2014 Responsiveness Summary
Georgia Pacific West - Fact Sheet - Proposed Cleanup for Pulp and Tissue Mill Area - July 2014 6/30/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Amendment to AO - Responsiveness Summary 8/2/2013 Responsiveness Summary
Fact sheet - 2013 6/18/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
GP West - Interim Action Fact Sheet 7/5/2011 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Georgia-Pacific West News Release Sampling at GP West Cleanup Site 3/1/2010 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Georgia-Pacific West - Response to Comments - Agreed Order - September 2009 9/26/2009 Responsiveness Summary
Georgia-Pacific West News Release Environmental Study 9/1/2009 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Georgia-Pacific West Public Participation Plan 8/1/2009 Public Participation Plan
State Environmental Policy Act 3
Technical Reports 37
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Georgia-Pacific West - Lignin Operable Unit - Draft Cleanup Action Plan - June 2022 6/2/2022 Cleanup Action Plan
Healthy Housing Integrated Planning Grant Lignin Parcel, Bellingham Waterfront District 2/25/2022 Site Specific Technical Document - other
GP West Pulp Tissue RAU - 2021 Annual Groundwater MNA Report 2/15/2022 Groundwater Monitoring Report
Georgia-Pacific West - Chlor-Alkali Area - Final Cleanup Action Plan - September 2021 9/7/2021 Cleanup Action Plan
Environmental and Geotechnical Assessment Report of Findings 11/24/2020 Site Specific Technical Document - other
GP West Lignin Parcel - Work Plan for Environmental and Geotechnical Assessment 7/23/2020 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Georgia-Pacific West Chlor-Alkali Area Feasibility Study Final - June 2018 6/8/2018 Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study
Georgia-Pacific West Chlor-Alkali Area Feasibility Study Appendices Final - June 2018 6/8/2018 Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study
Georgia Pacific West - Chlor-Alkali Area - Interim Action Report Appendices March 2018 3/8/2018 Interim Action Documents
Georgia Pacific West - Chlor-Alkali Area - Interim Action Report March 2018 3/8/2018 Interim Action Documents
2016 Interim Action Work Plan - FINAL 12/26/2016 Interim Action Documents
Georgia Pacific West - Pulp and Tissue Mill Area RAU-wide Capping Final - April 2016 4/11/2016 Remedial Action/As-Built Report
Georgia Pacific West - Pulp and Tissue Mill Area Bunker C Soil Removal Final - April 2016 4/11/2016 Remedial Action/As-Built Report
Compliance Monitoring Plan for Groundwater Monitored Attenuation 10/14/2015 Cleanup Action Plan
Compliance Monitoring Plan Vol.1: Soil Removal from Bunker C Subarea 10/14/2015 Cleanup Action Plan
Consent Decree - Exhibit E - Contaminated Materials Management Plan 10/13/2015 Cleanup Action Plan
Cleanup Action Plan (2014) 10/13/2015 Cleanup Action Plan
Georgia-Pacific West - Remedial Action Unit-wide Capping - August 2015 8/21/2015 Engineering Design Report
Georgia-Pacific West - Engineering Design Report - Soil Removal Bunker C Area - May 2015 5/14/2015 Engineering Design Report
Georgia Pacific West - Feasibility Study - Pulp and Tissue Mill Area - November 2014 11/12/2014 Feasibility Study
Georgia Pacific West - Cleanup Action Plan - Pulp and Tissue Mill Area - November 2014 11/12/2014 Cleanup Action Plan
Georgia Pacific West - Interim Action Completion Report-Caustic Plume Cell Building - November 2014 11/6/2014 Interim Action Documents
Georgia-Pacific West - Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendices - August 2014 8/13/2013 Remedial Investigation Report
Georgia-Pacific West - Final Remedial Investigation Report - Sections 8-9 - August 2013 8/12/2013 Remedial Investigation Report
Gerogia-Pacific West - Final Remedial Investigation Report - Section 7 - August 2013 8/12/2013 Remedial Investigation Report
Georgia-Pacific West - Final Rememdial Investigation Report - Section 6 - August 2013 8/12/2013 Remedial Investigation Report
Georgia-Pacific West - Final Remedial Investigation Report - Section 5 - August 2014 8/12/2013 Remedial Investigation Report
Georgia-Pacific West - Final Remedial Investigation Report - Section 4 - August 2013 8/12/2013 Remedial Investigation Report
Georgia-Pacific West - Final Remedial Investigation Report - Sections 1-3 - August 2014 8/12/2013 Remedial Investigation Report
Construction Management Plan - Caustic Plume cleanup 2/26/2013 Construction Plans and Specifications
Georgia-Pacific West - Bunker C interim action final report 2/24/2012 Interim Action Documents
Georgia-Pacific West final interim action work plan - Aug. 23, 2011 8/23/2011 Interim Action Documents
Public comments received through July 25, 2011 7/25/2011 Interim Action Documents
July 12, 2011 Proposed Interim Action Public Presentation 7/19/2011 Interim Action Documents
GP West - Draft Interim Action Workplan 7/1/2011 Interim Action Documents
GP West - Inerim Action Pre-Design Investigation Report 7/1/2011 Interim Action Documents
Georgia-Pacific West Public Comment on draft agreed order and draft PPP 7/15/2009 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
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

  • Northwest Regional Office
    15700 Dayton Ave N
    Shoreline, 98133
    Please schedule an appointment to view print documents at this location.
  • Ecology Bellingham Field Office
    913 Squalicum Way, Unit 101
    Bellingham, 98225
    This location may only have print documents available during open comment periods.

Contaminants 2

Contaminant Type
Soil
Groundwater
Surface Water
Air
Sediment
Bedrock
Metals - Metals Priority Pollutants C C R
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum Products-Unspecified 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.