Western Port Angeles Harbor, Port Angeles, WA 98363


We invite your review and comment on two documents about planning the cleanup of sediments in western Port Angeles Harbor. The two documents are the (1) Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) and an (2) amendment to the Agreed Order.  The comment period opens January 16, 2020.

We are hosting an open house on Tuesday January 28, 2020, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Olympic Medical Center, Linkletter Hall, 939 Caroline Street in Port Angeles.  Staff will be available to talk one-on-one and answer your questions about planning the sediment cleanup. At 7:00 p.m. there will be a presentation followed by a question and answer session.

Documents for your review and comment:

(1) Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS). The RI identifies contaminants, measures how much there are, and where they are located in sediments. The FS proposes several sediment cleanup options that protect human health and the environment. The FS compares cleanup options for their cost and benefits, like protectiveness, permanence, and other requirements. The report is large and it is divided into two parts for easier viewing.

(2) Amendment to the Agreed Order DE 9781. This document is an addition to an agreement between Ecology and the Potentially Liable Persons (PLPs). The PLPs are the Port and City of Port Angeles, Georgia-Pacific LLC, Nippon Paper Industries USA Co. Ltd., and Merrill & Ring. The amendment calls for the PLPs to prepare a preliminary draft cleanup action plan.

Your comments will be considered before finalizing the RI/FS and the amendment. We will respond to comments in a responsiveness summary after the comment period and place the summary on this webpage. 

A Fact Sheet briefly summarizes these documents.

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


Agreed Order 9781

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".


After the RI/FS is finalized and the amendment to the agreed order is signed, the 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 shown in yellow
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.

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.

Sediment contaminants in the Western Harbor site include:

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.  


Options for sediment cleanup considered in the FS prevent exposure of people and other animals to contamination in sediment.

Options for sediment cleanup include:

  • Excavate contaminated sediment and disposal offsite.
  • Cover and contain contaminated sediment with a 2-foot layer of clean sand, gravel and/or rock.
  • Place a 6-inch layer of clean sand or gravel on top of contaminated sediments to jump-start the natural recovery process.
  • Check regularly on natural deposition to make sure new, cleaner material covers contaminated sediment over time.


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