Facility Site ID: 2864 Cleanup Site ID: 3418

Current Status

Aerial image of Central Waterfront Site, July 2018
Aerial image of Central Waterfront Site, July 2018
Last Updated:  November 2020

Fieldwork on Bellingham's busy working waterfront

Over the last seven years, we’ve overseen the cleanup of portions of the Central Waterfront site on Bellingham Bay. The Port of Bellingham and the City of Bellingham are getting ready to advance the site to its final cleanup step. First, we need additional information to help design the remaining cleanup work.

Contractors will test the soil, groundwater, and air on this busy working waterfront site. 

The planned fieldwork, called a pre-remedial design investigation, will provide additional information to complete engineering design of the final cleanup action

Central Waterfront
Blog Post
  
 For more details, visit Ecology's Blog:

"Cleaning up: Fieldwork on Bellingham's
busy working waterfront
"
 



2019 Fact Sheet 
 
 


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 al 509-329-3444 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)

Site Timeline

  • 2020:  Finalized the Cleanup Action Plan. Based on Ecology's evaluation of the comments, we revised the final document.  Download Response to Comments
  • 2021-2022:  Complete design and permitting for the cleanup action.  
  • 2022: Estimated implementation of cleanup action (construction).

Public Participation

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. 

Site Information

Central Waterfront Site facing east, May 2019
Central Waterfront Site facing east, May 2019

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.



Contamination

Investigations to date have found contaminants in soil, groundwater, and sediment associated with historical industrial uses: 

  • Soil: metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds. Buried municipal refuse and wood waste and associated methane gas.
  • Groundwater:  metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.
  • Sediment: metals.  This was addressed by the Whatcom Waterway, Phase 1 cleanup in 2016.

    Contaminant levels are present at potentially harmful levels and must be addressed under Washington's toxics cleanup law, the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA).



Previous cleanup work

2013: Early cleanup at former Chevron bulk fuel storage facility:

  • Removed 800 cubic yards of petroleum-contaminated soil and sediment. 
  • Removed timber piles, oil, and contaminated groundwater.
  • Installed a waterproof barrier.
  • Restored the beach area with clean sand, gravel, and rock.

2016:  Whatcom Waterway, Phase 1 cleanup:

  • Dredged and capped contaminated sediments.
  • Built a sheet-pile containment wall.

2016 – 2017: C Street Terminal Improvements:

  • Rehabilitated utilities and upland infrastructure.
  • Improved stormwater collection and treatment systems.
  • Removed and/or capped (paved) contaminated soil.

2017:  All American Marine building

  • Built 54,000 square-foot boat manufacturing building (with landfill gas control system) with adjacent pavement that caps and prevents exposure to contaminated soil and refuse.
  • Created a gravel boat launch route that caps contaminated soil. 
  • Properly disposed of contaminated materials encountered during construction.

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.

Legal 8
Public Information 16
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Central Waterfront - Response to Comments AO Amend, CAP, SEPA DNS - January 2020 1/9/2020 Responsiveness Summary
Central Waterfront - Draft Cleanup Action Plan Public Meeting - September 18, 2019 9/19/2019 Multimedia
Central Waterfront - Public Participation Plan - September 2019 9/16/2019 Public Participation Plan
Central Waterfront - Postcard - Meeting and Comment Period Notice - September 2019 9/1/2019 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Central Waterfront - Fact Sheet - AO Amend, CAP, SEPA DNS and Checklist DRAFT - July 2019 7/1/2019 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Central Waterfront Postcard Agreed Order Amendment - September 2018 9/14/2018 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Central Waterfront - RI-FS Comments and Response - March 2018 3/23/2018 Responsiveness Summary
CentralWaterfront-FactSheet-RI-FS-September2017 9/8/2017 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Central Waterfront Response to Comments Interim Action 2016 5/25/2016 Responsiveness Summary
Central Waterfront - Public Presentation - Interim Action - March 2016 3/10/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Central Waterfront - Fact Sheet - Interim Action - March 2016 3/4/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Central Waterfront - Interim action response to comments 10/1/2012 Responsiveness Summary
Central Waterfront - Public comments on proposed interim action 8/22/2012 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Central Waterfront fact sheet - Public comment sought on proposed interim cleanup action 7/17/2012 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Central Waterfront Responsiveness Summary 7/1/2006 Responsiveness Summary
Central Waterfront Cleanup Documents 5/1/2006 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
State Environmental Policy Act 2
Technical Reports 24
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Central Waterfront - Pre-Remedial Design Investigation Work Plan Final - October 2020 10/14/2020 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
Central Waterfront - Cleanup Action Plan FINAL - January 2020 1/13/2020 Cleanup Action Plan
Central Waterfront - Interim Action Completion Report - C Street Terminal - April 2018 4/11/2018 Interim Action Documents
Central Waterfront - Interim Action Completion Report - All American Marine - April 2018 4/11/2018 Interim Action Documents
Central Waterfront - RI-FS - Final Report Appendices D-I - March 2018 3/20/2018 Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study
Central Waterfront - RI-FS - Final Report Appendices B-C - March 2018 3/20/2018 Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study
Central Waterfront - RI-FS - Final Report Appendix A - March 2018 3/20/2018 Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study
Central Waterfront - RI-FS - Final Report Text-Tables-Figures-March 2018 3/20/2018 Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study
Central Waterfront - RI-FS - Updates Tracker Table - March 2018 3/20/2018 Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study
PSE Final Determination of Liability letter 10/30/2017 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Final determination of liability 10/30/2017 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Preliminary_PLP_Status Letter SSC 8/16/2017 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Preliminary_PLP_Status Letter Puget Sound Energy 8/15/2017 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Interim Action 2016 Workplan Final 5/25/2016 Interim Action Documents
Central Waterfront - Workplan - Interim Action - March 2016 3/9/2016 Interim Action Documents
Chevron Subarea Interim Action Completion Report 6/21/2013 Interim Action Documents
Central Waterfront-Whatcom Waterway Health & Safety Plan - June 2012 1/28/2013 Health and Safety Plan
Central Waterfront Shorline Design Investigation - October 2012 1/28/2013 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Central Waterfront Chevron Sub-Area IA Investigation Report 12/18/2012 Interim Action Documents
Central Waterfront interim action work plan - Chevron subarea 9/27/2012 Interim Action Documents
Central Waterfront site RI/FS work plan addendum No. 3 - Supplemental investigation - Environmental conditions along the shoreline of the Central Waterfront site 7/2/2012 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
Central Waterfront - RI/FS work plan addendum 2 4/13/2012 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
Central Waterfront Pilot Pulse 8/1/2003 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Central Waterfront - Roeder Ave Landfill Site Hazard Assessment 4/25/1995 Site Hazard Assessment Report
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.
  • Bellingham Public Library
    210 Central Ave
    Bellingham, 98225
    This location may only have print documents available during open comment periods.

Contaminants 18

Contaminant Type
Soil
Groundwater
Surface Water
Air
Sediment
Bedrock
Other Contaminant - Base/Neutral/Acid Organics S S S
Halogenated Organics - Halogenated Organics S S S
Metals - Metals Priority Pollutants C C
Metals - Metals - Other C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum Products-Unspecified S S S
Non-Halogenated Organics - Phenolic Compounds S S S S
Non-Halogenated Organics - Non-Halogenated Solvents C C C S
Non-Halogenated Organics - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons C S
Other Contaminant - Conventional Contaminants, Organic C
Metals - Arsenic C
Metals - Lead C C
Metals - Mercury C
Halogenated Organics - Other Halogenated Organics S
Non-Halogenated Organics - Benzene C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Other Non-Halogenated Organics C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum-Diesel C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum-Gasoline C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum-Other C C C S
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.