Georgia-Pacific West Bellingham

Georgia Pacific West Site aerial map: Chlor-Alkali Area and Pulp and Tissue Mill Area
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Last Updated, March 2019

Cleanup Process Moves Forward Toward Drafting a Cleanup Action Plan

Response to Comments

Información en español abajo

Ecology conducted a public comment period (Dec. 10, 2018 – Jan. 23, 2019) on an amendment to an Agreed Order (legal agreement).  The amendment requires development of a cleanup action plan and design documents to address contamination within the Chlor-Alkali Area of the Georgia Pacific West site on the Bellingham Waterfront.

Ecology reviewed and considered all comments received on the legal agreement. Based on Ecology’s evaluation of the comments, no changes were made to the documents and have now been finalized. (Final Agreed Order Amendment)

Ecology issued a Response to Comments to address comments received.

En español

El Departamento de Ecología le invita a comentar sobre un reporte ambiental para el sitio que está contaminado Georgia Pacific West en Bellingham. 

Si le gustaría recibir este documento en español, por favor llame a Gretchen Newman al 360-407-6097 o envíe un correo electrónico a  Traducciones de avisos públicos para los sitios de limpieza de la Bahía de Bellingham se preparan bajo solicitud.



The Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA; Chapter 70.105D RCW is Washington’s environmental cleanup law). It provides requirements for contaminated site cleanup and sets standards that protect human health and the environment. Ecology enacts the MTCA and oversees cleanups. The MTCA site cleanup process is completed in steps (see graphic below) over a variable timeline.

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  • Early 2019:  Respond to comments and finalize legal agreement amendment.
  • Late 2019:  Notify public of comment period on draft Cleanup Action Plan.


Current Georgia Pacific West cleanup site Public Participation Plan 

This plan includes information for the public regarding opportunities to get involved in the Site cleanup process. The outreach activities and mechanisms presented reflect Ecology’s current plans for keeping the public informed and for receiving information and comments from the public. 

Georgia Pacific - Pulp and Tissue Mill
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Site History
The approximately 74-acre Georgia-Pacific West cleanup site is located at 300 West Laurel Street, on the south side of Whatcom Waterway, in Bellingham. A pulp and tissue mill operated at the site from 1926 through 2007.  The Port of Bellingham acquired property within the site from Georgia-Pacific Corporation in January 2005, and plans to use the property for commercial, retail, and residential purposes.

Environmental investigations of the site showed contamination in two separate and distinct areas.  As a result, in 2013, the port and Ecology agreed to divide the site into two separate cleanup areas to expedite cleanup and support redevelopment.  The two areas are known as the Pulp and Tissue Mill area and the Chlor-Alkali area. 

In 2011 and 2013, interim cleanup actions were conducted to remove contaminated soils and building materials from the site.  The cleanup of the Pulp and Tissue Mill area was completed in 2016.

Pulp and Tissue Mill Area (38 acres) contamination addressed (cleanup completed in 2016):
• metals
• low pH
• petroleum hydrocarbons
• volatile organic compounds
• dioxins/furans

Chlor-Alkali Area (36 acres) contaminates include:
• mercury
• high pH (caustic)
• Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
• petroleum hydrocarbons

Contaminant levels within the Chlor-Alkali Area are present at potentially harmful levels and must be addressed under Washington's toxics cleanup law, the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA).

Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot
The Georgia Pacific West site is one of 12 sites coordinated through the Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot.  The Pilot is a bay-wide multi-agency effort to clean up contaminated sediment, control sources of sediment contamination, and restore habitat, with consideration for land and water uses. In 2000, participants in this initiative developed the Bellingham Bay Comprehensive Strategy.


Map showing site location as Whatcom County, WA SITE INFORMATION


View Electronic Documents

Cleanup Site Details Report

Facility Site ID: # 14

Cleanup Site ID: 2279

Bellingham, Whatcom County

Status: Cleanup Started   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

Bellingham Public Library
210 Central Ave
Bellingham, 98227