Facility Site ID: 1215 Cleanup Site ID: 3642

  • Site Status

  • Cleanup Started

Cleanup Action Plan Finalized

Ecology finalized the Cleanup Action Plan to address contamination at the Site and signed a legal agreement (AO DE 15816) with the Port of Tacoma (port) to implement the cleanup plan. The port is the potentially liable person (PLP) responsible for cleaning up the Site. 

A fact sheet briefly summarizes information about the cleanup action plan. 

Ecology held a public comment period from April 22 to May 23, 2021, inviting comments on cleanup documents including:

  • Remedial Investigation & Appendices.
  • Feasibility Study and Feasibility Study Addendum.
  • draft Cleanup Action Plan.
  • Agreed Order DE 15816 with the port to implement the Cleanup Action Plan.
  • State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Determination of Non-Significance.

We received two sets of comments during the comment period. The Responsiveness Summary provides our response to comments. 

Ecology made no changes to the documents based on the comments received during the comment period. 

Ecology staff is overseeing the project to ensure that human health and the environment are protected during construction.

Subscribe to the email list for updates to work being done in the Tacoma Tideflats/Commencement Bay area. 

Site Description

Portac Inc. cleanup site is located at 4215 SR 509 E, Tacoma
Portac Inc. cleanup site is located at 4215 SR 509 E, Tacoma

The Site is about 52 acres located in the Tacoma Tideflats next to Wapato Creek, which flows into the Blair Waterway and Commencement Bay. From 1974 to 2009, Portac Inc. leased the property from the Port for use as a log yard and sawmill. In 2008, Portac Inc. removed the sawmill. Now the Site is a paved parking lot for cars and trucks.

The site became contaminated in the 1970s when slag (waste) from the former Asarco smelter was brought to the Site for roads to support heavy equipment. The slag contained arsenic and other metals. Contaminated stormwater ran off the site into Wapato Creek. To prevent this contamination, a concrete cap was constructed in the log yard to cover soil containing arsenic. A stormwater collection system was built to control movement of stormwater off the cap.

While the sawmill was operating, a wood preservative containing pentachlorophenol (PCP) was used to treat lumber. When Portac Inc. removed the sawmill, PCP was found in soil and groundwater, and arsenic and petroleum contamination was found in soil. These areas were excavated, the excavations backfilled with clean soil, and the contaminated soil was properly disposed.

Decreasing PCP concentrations are still present in one monitoring well located in the area where lumber was dipped into a tank containing PCP. The amount of PCP in groundwater is decreasing because of biological activity in the soil. 

Cleanup Action Plan

The Cleanup Action Plan is driven by these objectives:

  • Log Yard Area--Eliminate exposure of stormwater and surface water to arsenic-contaminated soil and groundwater.
  • Sawmill Area--Eliminate exposure of surface water to PCP-contaminated groundwater.

The plan describes the stormwater collection system will be improved and a permeable reactive barrier will be installed next to Wapato Creek on the northwestern corner of the site. The barrier reduces arsenic in groundwater as it moves through the barrier.

Groundwater will be monitored downgradient of the barrier to ensure the barrier's effectiveness and show that PCP contamination continues to decrease.

When the site is ready for redevelopment, a new improved cap will be constructed under a separate agreed order.   

Follow-up

If the cleanup actions are not successful, then additional actions will be used to protect people's health and environment.

Environmental Covenant

An environmental covenant on the property will be filed in county records. Among several restrictions on the Site, land use will be limited to industry.

Legal 6
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Portac Inc Parcel 15 - Agreed Order DE 15816 for dCAP 6/23/2021 Agreed Order
Portac Inc_Amendment to Order on Consent No. DE 88-S326 8/8/2018 Administrative Order on Consent Amendment
Portac Inc_Amendment to Agreed Order No. DE 11237 8/8/2018 Agreed Order Amendment
Portac Agreed Order 4/12/2016 Agreed Order
PLP Determination 9/12/2013 Final Potentially Liable Person Status Letter
1988 09 Ecology Order on Consent Portac 9/21/1988 Administrative Order on Consent
Public Information 4
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Portac Responsiveness Summary 6/15/2021 Responsiveness Summary
Portac Cleanup Plan Fact Sheet 4/2/2021 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Portac Public Participation Plan_2016 3/7/2016 Public Participation Plan
Portac Agreed Order Factsheet for comment period 3/2/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
State Environmental Policy Act 1
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Portac Inc Tacoma - Determination of Nonsignificance & SEPA Checklist 3/25/2021 SEPA Documents
Technical Reports 19
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Cleanup Action Plan for Portac Parcel 15 7/6/2021 Cleanup Action Plan
Portac Inc. Tacoma - Feasibility Study Addendum Approval 3/6/2019 Feasibility Study
Portac Parcel 15 Feasibility Study Addendum 2/14/2019 Feasibility Study
Letter to Masaru Namiki & Rob Healy Re: Amendment to Order on Consent No. DE 88-S326 9/7/2018 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Letter to Masaru Namiki (Portac Inc.) & Rob Healy (Port of Tacoma) Re: Amendment to Agreed Order DE 11237 9/7/2018 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Portac_Port_Settlement Agreement_03-28-18 3/28/2018 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Portac Parcel 15 Remedial Investigation Report - APPENDICES E-I 2/28/2018 Remedial Investigation Report
Portac Parcel 15 Remedial Investigation Report - APPENDICES B-D 2/28/2018 Remedial Investigation Report
Portac Parcel 15 Remedial Investigation Report - APPENDIX A 2/28/2018 Remedial Investigation Report
Portac Parcel 15 Remedial Investigation Report 2/28/2018 Remedial Investigation Report
Portac Parcel 15 Feasibility Study 2/14/2018 Feasibility Study
Final Portac Inspection Report 3-30-17 3/30/2017 Performance/Confirmational Monitoring Plan or Report
Remedial Investigation Work Plan 4/27/2016 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
CAP Inspection Report 12/16/2014 Performance/Confirmational Monitoring Plan or Report
2013 WES 1Q 2013 Groundwater Monitoring Report 3/25/2013 Groundwater Monitoring Report
2010 WES 3Q 2010 Groundwater Monitoring Report 11/29/2010 Groundwater Monitoring Report
Compiled 2009 WES Lumber Mill Cleanup Report 7/6/2009 Final Cleanup Action Report
1988 June HC Remediation Plan Portac Log Sort Vol II Appendices 6/18/1988 Cleanup Action Plan
1988 June HC Remediation Plan Portac Log Sort Vol 1 6/17/1988 Cleanup Action Plan
Voluntary Cleanup Program 3
Document Title Document Date Document Type
2018.03.06_Portac_RI-FS_Approval 3/6/2018 Voluntary Cleanup Program Opinion – Other
Portac Inc. Tacoma - Termination of VCP Agreement 3/12/2014 Voluntary Cleanup Program Opinion – Other
2009 Ecology Opinion Letter Further Action Needed at the Portac Sawmill 10/18/2009 Voluntary Cleanup Program Opinion – 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

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

Contaminants 7

Contaminant Type
Soil
Groundwater
Surface Water
Air
Sediment
Bedrock
Metals - Metals Priority Pollutants R R
Metals - Metals - Other R
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum Products-Unspecified C S
Non-Halogenated Organics - Phenolic Compounds C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Non-Halogenated Solvents C
Other Contaminant - Asbestos S
Metals - Arsenic 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.