Western Port Angeles Harbor, Port Angeles, WA 98363


The Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) is completed for the Site. The Remedial Investigation (RI) identifies contaminants, measures how much there are, and where they are located. The Feasibility Study (FS) proposes several cleanup alternatives that will protect human health and the environment. The FS also compares cleanup options for their cost and benefits, like protectiveness, permanence, and other requirements.

The reports are large and divided into three parts for easier viewing.

A fact sheet briefly summarizes the RI/FS.

The Amendment to Agreed Order DE 9781 is final. The amendment requires the PLPs to write a preliminary draft cleanup action plan. Ecology will write the draft cleanup action plan. 

We held a comment period from January 16 to March 16, 2020, for public comment on the RI/FS and amendment to the Agreed Order. We received 18 comments. The Responsiveness Summary contains our responses to the comments received.

Other documents related to this site can be viewed by clicking on the link "View Electronic documents" on the right under the column called "Site Information".


The potentially liable persons (PLPs) will prepare a preliminary draft cleanup action plan. We will use the preliminary plan to prepare a draft Cleanup Action Plan.

The draft Cleanup Action Plan and a new order to put the plan into effect will be available for public comment before they are finalized.

Western Port Angeles Harbor Study Area (left, yellow outline) and Rayonier Mill Study Area (right, blue outline)
Please click on the photo for a larger view


In 2008, we launched an investigation of Port Angeles Harbor through the Puget Sound Initiative and learned that toxic substances contaminated harbor sediments that may pose a threat to human health and the environment, including fisheries and shellfish beds.

People, pets, or wildlife may be exposed to hazardous chemicals by physically contacting or consuming contaminated sediment.  Eating contaminated seafood can also expose people and wildlife to hazardous chemicals.  

The harbor sediments investigation showed separate sources of sediment contamination in Western Port Angeles Harbor and the Rayonier Mill Study Area.

In the past, industries along the western shoreline of the harbor generated liquid waste and released it directly into the harbor and lagoon. Contaminated stormwater was discharged into the harbor. Several pulp and lumber mills burned salt-laden wood debris as a fuel source. Burning this debris formed hazardous substances, like dioxin, that rose up through smoke stacks and settled out onto marine sediments.

Based on sampling in Western Port Angeles Harbor Study Area, we learned where the contamination was located and identified the contaminants in the sediment that were above state cleanup levels. 

Western Port Angeles Harbor Sediment Management Areas
Please click on the photo for a larger view


The large area of the western harbor was divided into smaller areas called Sediment Management Areas (SMAs) for planning cleanup. 

  • SMA 1 is 37 acres in the inner harbor. This is where some of the highest levels of contamination is found. This area has over-water structures, areas prone to erosion, and relatively shallow depths.
  • SMA 2 is the 25-acre lagoon. It is shallow with limited access and located on private property, which presents cleanup challenges. 
  • SMA 3 includes the other 1,100 acres and has lower, wide-spread levels of contamination. The shoreline has many over-water structures and much of the area is deeper than 50 feet, which presents challenges for cleanup. 


Methods for sediment cleanup include excavation, capping, enhanced monitored natural recovery, and monitored natural recovery. The cleanup will meet Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA; Washington's cleanup law) requirements and prevent exposure of people and other animals to contamination in sediment. 

  • Excavation removes the contaminated sediment from the intertidal or sea bottom and disposes the contaminated material offsite. Subtidal excavation is called dredging. 
  • Capping covers contaminated sediment with about a 2-food layer of clean sand, gravel, and/or rock. The cap prevents exposure of aquatic life to the contamination. A cap requires an environmental covenant to protect the integrity of the cap in the future. 
  • Enhanced Monitored Natural Recovery places a 6-inch layer of clean sand or gravel on top of contaminated sediments to jump-start the natural recovery process that occurs through the natural deposition of cleaner material. 
  • Monitored Natural Recovery requires regular checks on natural deposition to make sure new, cleaner material covers contaminated sediment over time as expected. Recovery by natural deposition occurs relatively slowly in the Western Port Angeles Harbor. Contaminants in sediment would be monitored until cleanup levels are reached.  

If needed, cleanup to control upland pollution sources will be handled separately by the upland property owners and Ecology.


In Washington State, we've identified over 13,000 contaminated sites in need of cleanup. Over 7,000 of those sites have been cleaned up, and 200 to 300 new sites are reported every year.

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Map showing site location as Clallam County, WA SITE INFORMATION


View Electronic Documents

Cleanup Site Details Report

Facility Site ID: # 18898

Cleanup Site ID: 11907

Port Angeles, Clallam County

Status: Cleanup Started   Get definitions of Status terminology

Connie Groven
Site Manager
(360) 407-6254

Nancy Davis
Public Involvement Coordinator
(360) 407-0067

Document Repositories:

Southwest Regional Office
300 Desmond Dr SE
Lacey, 98503-1274

Port Angeles Library
2210 South Peabody Street
Port Angeles, 98362