Facility Site ID: 76245362 Cleanup Site ID: 378

Public Comment Period April 21, 2022-May 20, 2022

Ecology invites you to review and comment on the 2022 Draft Periodic Review for the Recomp of Washington site (Site) located at 1524 Slater Road in Ferndale, Washington, Whatcom County.

A Periodic Review is conducted every five years after a cleanup action when institutional controls are used as part of the remedy, as required by the Model Toxics Control Act. The purpose of the periodic review is to evaluate current Site conditions and ensure continued protection of human health and the environment.

The 2022 Draft Periodic Review concluded:

·         The cleanup action (i.e., landfill closure) completed at the Site appears to be protective of human health and the environment.

·         The landfill containment system includes native, low permeability soils beneath the landfill, a compacted clay cover above the landfill material, and a gravel cutoff trench and leachate collection pipe downgradient of the landfill. Additionally, a soil-bentonite slurry wall and paved surfaces between the landfill cover and the slurry wall divert groundwater and surface water away from the closed ash landfill.

·         The Restrictive Covenant for the property is in place and continues to be effective in protecting human health and the environment from exposure to hazardous substances and protecting the integrity of the cleanup action.

·         The conclusions of this periodic review apply to the Recomp of Washington Site only, and do not apply to the adjacent Wilder Landfill site.

Additional details can be found in the 2022 Draft Periodic Review

Ecology will review comments received during the comment period and modify the Periodic Review accordingly. The Draft Periodic Review will become final if no significant changes are made. An additional public comment period will be held if significant changes are made based on the comments received. The next review for the Site will be scheduled five years from the date of this periodic review.

Submit your comments to:
Alan Noell, Site Manager
PO Box 330316
Shoreline, WA 98133


Site Location

The Recomp of Washington site (Site) is located at 1524 Slater Road. The April 23, 2003 No Further Action request for the Recomp of Washington site specifically excludes the hazardous waste pit at the north adjoining Wilder Landfill site.

Site Background

This Site property was undeveloped farmland prior to 1974. In 1974, Wilder Construction Company, Inc. (Wilder) prepared an Environmental Impact Statement to develop a 100-ton per day solid waste incinerator and disposal site. Whatcom County Health Department (then the Bellingham Whatcom District Department of Public Health) granted a Solid Waste Handling Permit for the facility. The 100-ton-per-day incinerator generated about 30 tons per day of combined bottom and fly ash.

Thermal Reduction Company purchased the Site property from Wilder in 1985 and continued to operate the incinerator and ash landfill portion until Recomp Inc. purchased the property in 1989. Recomp of Washington (Recomp) continued to operate the facility with modifications to remain current with the community’s solid waste handling needs and the evolving regulatory requirements.

The Site includes three current parcels at 1524 and 1526 Slater Road, based on a closed ash landfill on one parcel and an upgradient soil-bentonite slurry wall that extends onto all three parcels. Adak Island Adventures, LLC (ADAK) owns Parcel 99458 that contains the landfill, and PES Holdings, LLC owns the east adjacent Parcel 173981 where the slurry wall is constructed. Parberry Environment Solutions operates Scrap-It recycling services and Stow-It storage container rental solutions (i.e., Scrap-It Stow-It) on these two parcels. Regional Disposal Company owns Parcel 173983 and operates a material recovery facility and waste transfer station on the parcel. The slurry wall extends east-to-west south of the waste transfer building.

Ash Landfill

Municipal solid waste incinerator ash was disposed in a landfill constructed on the lower terrace deposit on the northwest side of the Site. The landfill was constructed by excavating pits in the low permeability Bellingham Drift soil. The excavated material was used to construct lateral berms around the incinerator disposal area. The landfill was closed after implementation of new minimum functional standards for solid waste handling in Chapter 173-304 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). The ash landfill was closed by placing a two-foot-thick compacted clay cover over the incinerator ash and constructing a leachate collection drain along the west boundary of the landfill. Whatcom County Health Department approved that the landfill was closing by the November 27, 1989, regulatory deadline (WAC 173-304-400(3)(b)), such that the facility is not subject to landfill post-closure care and financial assurance requirements in the WAC 173-304 regulation. Subsequently, in 1990, Recomp constructed a low-permeability soil-bentonite slurry wall around the north, east, and south Site boundaries to prevent groundwater from migrating to the landfill in the shallow Sumas Outwash Sand formation in the upper terrace deposit. The outwash sand does not extend to the lower terrace deposit on the west side the Site.  

Ash Storage Facility

Recomp constructed a temporary ash storage facility during the development of new special incinerator ash management standards in WAC 173-306, which were implemented on May 31, 1990. Phase I and II storage cells were constructed on top of the closed ash landfill. The specified bottom liner for the ash storage facility includes an 80-mil, high density polyethylene (HDPE) geomembrane on top of the two-foot-thick compacted clay layer, overlain by 18 inches of compacted native soil and four inches of asphalt. The ash storage facility was specified to have a two-foot-high by two-foot-wide perimeter berm, constructed of compacted soil with a 2H:1V (horizontal to vertical) slope covered by an 80-mil HDPE geomembrane to prevent fluid movement through the berm.

Recomp staged incinerator ash in the ash storage area from 1989 to May 2, 1994, under permits issued by Whatcom County Health Department and Ecology. The permits required Recomp to perform regular monitoring of groundwater, surface water, and air in the vicinity of the solid waste facilities.

Leachate Storage Lagoon

Recomp modified the existing leachate storage lagoon in the northwest corner of the Site in 1989. The new 55,000-gallon lagoon was specified with an 80-mil HDPE geomembrane over a two-foot compacted clay liner, with eight feet of freeboard. The lagoon receives water discharged from the leachate collection pipe installed along the west side of the ash landfill. Although the leachate pipe was originally intended to collect seepage water from the closed ash landfill, the slurry wall and paved surfaces inhibit lateral groundwater migration and surface water infiltration through the closed ash landfill. The slurry wall diverts groundwater within the Sumas Outwash Sand formation around the closed ash landfill, and the shallow groundwater west of the closed ash landfill likely infiltrates into the leachate collection pipe. Thus, the leachate discharge pipe may discharge limited amounts leachate from the landfill. The leachate storage lagoon water is pumped to the City of Ferndale wastewater treatment plant under a state waste discharge permit issued by Ecology.

Consent Decree

Recomp entered into Consent Decree No. 96-2-01293-5 with Ecology on July 5, 1996. The Consent Decree required Recomp to dispose of the incinerator ash at the Roosevelt Regional Monofill landfill, permitted under WAC 173-306, in Klickitat County, Washington. The Consent Decree required Recomp to remove the Prior Production (i.e., ash generated between 1989 and May 2, 1994) from the ash storage facility by May 1, 2002. Following Ecology’s Notice of Completion letter, Ecology and Recomp filed a Joint Motion to Dismiss Consent Decree No. 96-2-01293-5 with Whatcom County Superior Court on May 15, 2001.

No Further Action Opinion

Recomp applied to Ecology’s Voluntary Cleanup Program on April 29, 2003, and requested a No Further Action (NFA) opinion to allow the site to be removed by Ecology’s Confirmed and Suspected Contaminated Sites List (CSCSL). Ecology provided an NFA opinion and removed the site from the CSCSL. The NFA opinion request included statements that:

  • The Site was regulated by multiple authorities, including Whatcom County Health Department with Ecology oversight, the Northwest Air Pollution Authority, and water discharge permits from Ecology.
  • The landfill provides long-term containment of the incinerator ash.
  • There was no indication of releases from the landfill based on site investigations and 14 years of groundwater and surface water monitoring.
  • The landfill leachate is discharged to the City of Ferndale wastewater treatment plant.
  • A permitted waste transfer station continues to operate at the Site.
  • A public participation grant was awarded to a concerned citizen group to investigate the facility and findings of state and federal investigations, which provided substantial publicity for public participation and involvement.

Ecology issued an NFA opinion on January 5, 2005. Ecology concluded that the release of lead and cadmium into soil no longer poses a threat to human health and the environment. Ecology’s NFA was granted for only the release identified in the April 29, 2003, letter.

Ecology granted the NFA under the State cleanup regulation, the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), however:

  • Ash was disposed in a landfill permitted under WAC 173-301 (repealed in 1985) and WAC 173-304.
  • Site investigations were performed for the landfill permit under WAC 173-304.
  • The ash landfill was closed under WAC 173-304 without post-closure care and financial assurance requirements.
  • Groundwater and surface water monitoring was performed in accordance with a Plan of Operation (Harper Owes, 1990) that satisfied WAC 173-304 during operation of the ash storage facility.

Under the MTCA framework, Ecology considered the release to be the landfilled ash material that contains lead and cadmium and the Remedial Action to be the landfill closure. The site investigation and monitoring reports do not reference a release of contamination from the landfill. Ecology’s NFA is subject to maintaining the restrictive covenant for the property.

Requesting Accommodation

Ecology is committed to providing people with disabilities access to information and services. To request an ADA accommodation, contact Ecology by phone at 360-407-6831 or email at ecyadacoordinator@ecy.wa.gov. For Washington Relay Service or TTY call 711 or 877-833-6341.  Visit Ecology’s website for more information.

If you speak a non-English language, free language services are available.

Report An Environmental Issue

To report an environmental problem or concern, any time, day or night.

Voluntary Cleanup Program

This site was cleaned up under our Voluntary Cleanup Program, which provides technical help to owners of contaminated sites.

Voluntary Cleanup Program customers pay fees to cover our costs for technical help and reviewing cleanup reports. Sites in this program must meet the same cleanup standards as the sites Ecology manages under legal orders.

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 #: 2041000167
County Recording Date: 10/1/2004

Covenant Restrictions

  • Ongoing Maintenance of Remedy
  • Prohibit Soil Disturbance
  • Restrict Land Use

Media Restrictions

  • Soil
Legal 3
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Recomp of Washington_Restrictive Covenant 10/1/2004 Environmental Covenant; Alternative Mechanism
Recomp of Washington_Consent Decree No. 96-2-01293-5_Joint Motion to Dismiss 5/27/2001 Consent Decree
Recomp of Washington_Consent Decree No. 96-2-01293-5 7/1/1996 Consent Decree
Public Information 2
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Recomp of Washington Periodic Review 2022 4/21/2022 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Recomp of Washington_Consent Decree No. 96-2-01293-5_Responsiveness Summary 7/1/1996 Responsiveness Summary
Technical Reports 12
Voluntary Cleanup Program 1
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Recomp of Washington_No Further Action opinion letter 1/5/2005 VCP Opinion on Property Cleanup – NFA
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
    This location may only have print documents available during open comment periods.
  • Whatcom County Library System - Ferndale Library
    2125 Main St
    Ferndale, 98248
    This location may only have print documents available during open comment periods.

Contaminants 2

Contaminant Type
Surface Water
Metals - Metals - Other C
Metals - Lead C
Confirmed Above Cleanup Levels
Below Cleanup Levels
This contaminant list was based on our best information at the time it was entered. It may not reflect current conditions at the site.