Holly Street Landfill

Facility Site ID: 2925 Cleanup Site ID: 253

Site Status

Cleanup actions for this site were completed in 2005, followed by the completion of post-construction monitoring in 2014.

Site Description

The Holly Street Landfill site is a 13-acre historic solid waste landfill located in the Old Town district of Bellingham.  In the late 1800s, the site was part of the original Whatcom Creek estuary and mudflat.  Around 1905, private property owners began filling portions of the site with dredge spoils and other materials to increase useable upland areas.  From 1937 to 1953, municipal waste was used by owners to fill private tidelands within the former Whatcom Creek estuary.  Wastes disposed at the site included debris and scrap materials, consistent with landfill disposal practices of the time. Solid waste covers approximately 9.1 acres on the northwest side of Whatcom Creek and 3.8 acres on the southeast side (Maritime Heritage Park).  The City of Bellingham (City) currently owns 8.3 acres of the 13-acre landfill site, including all landfill properties located along the Whatcom Creek shoreline.  Various private property owners own the remainder of the land fill site.

In 2005, the City, with Ecology oversight, implemented a cleanup action plan for the site which addressed the physical presence of solid waste, methane production, and contaminant impacts to Whatcom Creek. Refuse along the northern shoreline of Whatcom Creek was excavated along with construction of an engineered cap, and material was placed along the southern shoreline to stabilize the bank.  The northern shoreline excavation and cap system was designed to control releases of copper and zinc to Whatcom Creek that occur when estuary water mixes with the solid waste in the bank. The cleanup also included long term protection through legal restrictions on property use and monitoring of the cleanup action.

The cleanup removed about 12,400 tons of solid waste, primarily from the northern bank prior to cap construction. The excavated materials were transported and disposed of at a permitted, off-site landfill. The cleanup also restored historically lost habitat at the mouth of Whatcom Creek.  The project converted about 0.3 acres from upland to intertidal elevations, created side channel habitat, placed large woody debris, removed invasive vegetation, and re-introduced native plants. Along with these activities, the City constructed a boardwalk and viewpoints/overlooks along the estuary to improve public access to the shoreline.

The Holly Street Landfill is one of 12 cleanup sites in the Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot project, a coordinated bay-wide effort by federal, tribal, state and local governments to clean up contamination, control pollution sources and restore habitat, with consideration for land and water uses. The work is informed by the Bellingham Bay Comprehensive Strategy, completed by the pilot work group in 2000.

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 #: 2050502785
County Recording Date: 5/16/2005

Covenant Restrictions

  • Ongoing Maintenance of Remedy
  • Prevent the Reuse or Relocation of Site Soil
  • Prohibit Soil Disturbance
  • Restrict All Ground Water Extraction/Well Installation
  • Restrict Land Use

Media Restrictions

  • Groundwater
  • Soil

Environmental Covenant

County Recording #: 2040904916
County Recording Date: 9/29/2004

Covenant Restrictions

  • Ongoing Maintenance of Remedy
  • Prohibit Soil Disturbance
  • Restrict All Ground Water Extraction/Well Installation
  • Restrict Land Use

Media Restrictions

  • Groundwater
  • Soil

Environmental Covenant

County Recording #: 2050502786
County Recording Date: 5/16/2005

Covenant Restrictions

  • Ongoing Maintenance of Remedy
  • Prevent the Reuse or Relocation of Site Soil
  • Prohibit Soil Disturbance
  • Restrict All Ground Water Extraction/Well Installation
  • Restrict Land Use

Media Restrictions

  • Groundwater
  • Soil

Environmental Covenant

County Recording #: 2050502787
County Recording Date: 5/16/2005

Covenant Restrictions

  • Ongoing Maintenance of Remedy
  • Prevent the Reuse or Relocation of Site Soil
  • Prohibit Soil Disturbance
  • Restrict All Ground Water Extraction/Well Installation
  • Restrict Land Use

Media Restrictions

  • Groundwater
  • Soil
Legal 3
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Holly Street Landfill - Restrictive Covenants 5/16/2005 Environmental Covenant; Alternative Mechanism
Holly Street Landfill - Restrictive Covenant 9/28/2004 Environmental Covenant; Alternative Mechanism
Holly Street Landfill - Consent Decree 9/3/2003 Consent Decree
Public Information 2
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Holly Street Landfill - Responsiveness Summary - September 2004 9/16/2004 Responsiveness Summary
Holly Street Landfill - Fact Sheet - Remedial Design - March 2004 3/1/2004 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
State Environmental Policy Act 1
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Bellingham Bay Comprehensive Strategy - SEPA - Environmental Impact Statement 10/1/2000 SEPA Documents
Technical Reports 6
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.

Contaminants 5

Contaminant Type
Soil
Groundwater
Surface Water
Air
Sediment
Bedrock
Other Contaminant - Base/Neutral/Acid Organics B B C
Metals - Metals Priority Pollutants C B C
Metals - Metals - Other C B
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum Products-Unspecified B B B
Non-Halogenated Organics - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons B B B
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.