Boise Cascade Mill

Boise Cascade Mill with log ponds circa 1959, view to west - photo from Yakima Valley Museum
Please click on the photo for a larger view


The Boise Cascade Mill site is located in the northeast portion of the City of Yakima at 805 North 7th Street.  The Site is bordered by residential neighborhoods to the west, commercial businesses to the north and south, and Interstate 82 and the Yakima River to the east.  The Site consists of 20 parcels and is ~211 acres in size. 
A ranch existed on the property up until the early 1900s.  The Cascade Lumber Company began developing and operating a lumber mill on the property in 1903.  In 1957, The Cascade Lumber Company merged with Boise Payette Lumber Company to form Boise Cascade.  The mill reached full build-out in the 1970s and 1980s.  At that time, facilities used for lumber manufacturing operations on the property included two sawmills, a plywood mill, a planer building, kiln buildings, a boiler house, a machine shop, an auto shop, two large log deck areas, and other support buildings.
Three log ponds covered approximately 60 percent of the property until the 1960s.  The southern log pond located south of the railroad tracks was drained around 1963 and was used as a municipal landfill by the City of Yakima until around 1970 (see Interstate Exit 33A Yakima City Landfill cleanup site).  The north and central log ponds were drained from 40 to 6 acres in 1969 and then completely drained and filled in 1994.  Five smaller ponds still exist on the property today.
In February 2004, LeeLynn, Inc. and Wiley Mt., Inc. acquired portions of the property and leased the remainder from Boise Cascade Corporation.  LeeLynn, Inc. and Wiley Mt., Inc. leased the mill to Yakima Resources who continued mill operations until August 2006.  After the mill closed in 2006, sale, salvage, and demolition of the buildings and equipment have been ongoing.

Boise Cascade Mill buildings, date unknown
Please click on the photo for a larger view


The Site was included on Ecology's list of Confirmed and Suspected Contaminated Sites based primarily on contamination documented within the 2008 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment draft report prepared by Parametrix for Leelynn, Inc. and Wiley Mt., Inc. 
Possible sources of contamination include former underground and aboveground storage tanks, fuel dispenser islands, equipment storage and repair areas, a fly ash accumulation area, and ongoing mill operations.
Various contaminants have been confirmed to exceed Model Toxic Control Act (MTCA) soil, groundwater, and surface water cleanup levels (Table 1) at multiple locations on the site.  These hazardous substances may pose a threat to human health and the environment.

Groundwater on the Site may be impacted by petroleum contamination based on observations in test pits and detections in the surface water ponds.  Installation and sampling of additional monitoring wells was recommended by Parametrix to characterize any contamination.  Parametrix also recommended further investigation of the petroleum contamination detected through analytical methods in the ponds.  Vinyl chloride was detected in groundwater, but below Method A cleanup levels.  Chromium was detected above MTCA Method A soil cleanup levels, but below Yakima Basin background concentrations. 


Table 1. Boise Cascade Mill site contaminants confirmed to exceed MTCA cleanup levels



 Surface Water

 Gasoline Range Organics


 bis(2-Ethylhexyl) pthhalate

 Diesel Range Organics



 Heavy Oils









 Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)






Note: Surface water includes five ponds located within the property.
Contaminants within the groundwater originating from the Boise Cascade Mill site appear to be comingled with those originating from the adjacent Interstate Exit 33A Yakima City Landfill site.  Methane produced from wood waste debris and the adjacent municipal landfill site is also a concern.

Boise Cascade Mill site, 2008, view to north (photo from Bing)
Please click on the photo for a larger view


In April 2013, the City of Yakima contracted with an environmental consultant to collect additional data to further characterize contamination at the Site.  This additional data will help determine what types of cleanup actions will need to occur at the Site in the future to allow for re-development.
Proposed plans for future re-development of the Site include new retail space, commercial, light industrial, high density residential housing, and public venues with access provided by the proposed Yakima East-West Corridor roadway, including a freeway interchange on the Site.


Map showing site location as Yakima County, WA SITE INFORMATION


View Electronic Documents

Cleanup Site Details Report

Facility Site ID: # 450

Cleanup Site ID: 12095

Yakima, Yakima County

Status: Awaiting Cleanup   Get definitions of Status terminology

Document Repositories:

Central Regional Office
1250 W Alder St
Union Gap, 98903-0009