Georgia-Pacific West Bellingham

Georgia-Pacific West Site aerial map: Chlor-Alkali Area and Pulp and Tissue Mill Area (click to enlarge)
Please click on the photo for a larger view

CURRENT STATUS

Last Updated: September 2021

Información en español abajo

 

Response to Comments
(August 2021)


Final Cleanup Action Plan
Chlor-Alkali Area
(September 2021)


Fact Sheet  English Postcard English


Work begins on engineering design for cleanup

Ecology conducted a 30-day public comment period (July 6 - August 4, 2021) on a draft Cleanup Action Plan, Agreed Order Amendment (legal agreement) and a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) determination for the Chlor-Alkali Area of the Georgia-Pacific West (Site) on the Bellingham waterfront. The plan calls for treating, removing, and capping contaminated soil; treating and monitoring groundwater; and restricting future activities in certain areas.

Ecology has reviewed and considered the public comments received on the documents. Based on Ecology's evaluation of the comments, no changes were necessary in the documents, and they are being finalized. (Download the Response to Comments.)

Work will begin on the engineering design of the cleanup action (construction). See graphic below and visit Ecology's cleanup process webpage to learn more about Washington's formal cleanup process.

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 al 509-329-3444 o envíe un correo electrónico a preguntas@ecy.wa.gov.  Traducciones de avisos públicos para los sitios de limpieza de la Bahía de Bellingham se preparan bajo solicitud.


GENERAL CLEANUP PROCESS

The Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) 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.


Click graphic to enlarge
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ESTIMATED SITE TIMELINE

  • July 6 – August 4, 2021:  Held a 30-day public comment period. 
  • July 14, 2021: Hosted an online public meeting. (Download meeting presentation)
  • Late 2021:  Finalize the cleanup action plan and associated documents. Ecology reviewed and considered all comments received and responded accordingly. (Download Response to Comments)
  • 2021-2023:  Estimated time to complete design of the cleanup action. The Port will sequence completion of engineering design documents for four separate components of the cleanup action. 
  • 2023-2025:  Estimated timeframe for sequenced implementation (construction) of the cleanup action

Implementation of the cleanup action will occur under a future separate legal agreement, which will be issued for public review and comment.


PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

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 West site, October 2017
Please click on the photo for a larger view

SITE DESCRIPTION

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.

Contamination
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

Map

View Electronic Documents

Cleanup Site Details Report

Facility Site ID: # 14

Cleanup Site ID: 2279

Location:
Bellingham, Whatcom County

Status: Cleanup Started   Get definitions of Status terminology

Contacts:
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
(206)594-0016

Ecology Bellingham Field Office
913 Squalicum Way, Unit 101
Bellingham, 98225
(360)255-4400