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The Department of Ecology has finalized environmental documents for the Eldridge Municipal Landfill site in Bellingham. The documents include a report (remedial investigation/feasibility study, or RI/FS) that presents the results of an investigation at the site and selection of a preferred cleanup option, a legal agreement (consent decree) between Ecology and the City of Bellingham that includes a cleanup action plan for the site, and a public participation plan.
A public comment period was held to get input on these documents from September 21 – October 20, 2015.  Five comments were received, which did not result in any changes to the documents. Once the RI/FS was finalized, a letter of satisfaction was issued for the agreed order. The Consent Decree was signed by the City and Ecology.  It was filed with Whatcom County Superior Court and became effective on December 30, 2015.

In addition, planned groundwater sampling occurred at the site on March 7, 2016.  This work was conducted under a Sampling and Analysis Plan - Addendum #1, approved by Ecology.
For more information, view these documents by following the links below.

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The Eldridge Municipal Landfill site (PDF 553 KB) is about 32,000 square feet in Little Squalicum Park in Bellingham, west of the Bellingham Technical College campus parking lot. The site is on property owned by Whatcom County and managed by the city as a park. In the mid- to late-1930s, the City of Bellingham used the area, now part of the park, as a landfill for burning and burying local municipal garbage. The landfill operated for only a few years.

The Eldridge Municipal Landfill site was discovered in 2006 as part of an investigation of the Little Squalicum Park cleanup site. When the investigation showed that contamination along Little Squalicum Creek was associated with the adjacent Oeser Federal Superfund site, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took over the regulatory lead for cleanup of the creek area. Ecology maintained oversight authority for the landfill site.

In 2010, a remedial investigation of the site found landfill debris and contamination across a 32,000 square foot area.  This included:

  • Landfill debris: glass bottles, metal scraps, ash, ceramics, construction debris and various rusted materials.
  • Soil contamination: arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, zinc and pentachlorophenol.
  • Groundwater contamination: metals including arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc as well as, iron, manganese, nitrate, and ammonia.
The Eldridge Municipal Landfill site is one of 12 cleanup sites in the Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot Project. The pilot is a coordinated bay-wide effort by federal, tribal, state and local governments to clean up contamination, control pollution sources and restore habitat, with consideration for land and water uses.  The work is guided by the Bellingham Bay Comprehensive Strategy, which was developed by the the pilot work group in 2000.


These activities will occur in 2016:

  • begin groundwater monitoring
  • place legal use restrictions on the property
  • prepare an operations & maintenance plan
  • wetland planting, fencing, and signage
  • designate especially valuable habitat area



Map showing site location as Whatcom County, WA SITE INFORMATION


View Electronic Documents

Cleanup Site Details Report

Facility Site ID: # 16195

Cleanup Site ID: 1897

Bellingham, Whatcom County

Status: Construction Complete-Performance Monitoring   Get definitions of Status terminology

John Guenther
Site Manager
(360) 255-4381

Ian Fawley
Public Involvement Coordinator
(360) 255-4382

Document Repositories:

Northwest Regional Office
15700 Dayton Ave N
Shoreline, 98133

Ecology Bellingham Field Office
913 Squalicum Way, Unit 101
Bellingham, 98225