SSA Containers Inc
3320 Lincoln Ave E, Tacoma, WA 98421

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Last updated July 30, 2018

Ecology held a public comment period for environmental documents that address dioxin contamination and cleanup at the Reichhold/SSA facility. The documents are part of a Consent Decree Amendment and Cleanup Action Plan Amendment to deal with dioxin contamination in site soil. The public comment period ended March 29, 2016 and we did not receive any comments.

Ecology held another public comment period for a new draft corrective action permit for this site so that cleanup work can proceed.

In 2016, SSA Containers remediated dioxin-contaminated soil. This work includes: 

  • Excavating soil at six isolated areas.
  • Combining contaminated soil within a 7.5 acre area of the site.
  • Capping the contaminated soil area with a surface that would prevent direct contact by humans and animals.
  • Maintaining deed restrictions at the property to keep the property in industrial use, and protect the capped area.

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Dioxin contaminated soils and proposed cap location
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The former Reichhold Chemical (Reichhold) facility is a 52-acre property located on the Blair Peninsula between Alexander Avenue and Taylor Way. From 1956 to 1990, Reichhold produced pentachlorophenol and related compounds used in wood treating.

Compounds produced on site include:       

  • Pentachlorophenol.
  • Urea-formaldehyde resins.
  • Calcium chloride solution.
  • Treated fiber products.
  • Formaldehyde catalyst.
In 2006, Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) purchased the property from Reichhold Chemical. 


Significant pentachlorophenol (PCP) groundwater contamination was discovered in 1986. PCP and breakdown products are the key contaminants at the site. Chlorinated solvents like trichloroethylene (TCE) and associated breakdown products (e.g., vinyl chloride) were also detected at lower concentrations. This contamination migrated off-property west to the Blair Waterway.

In 2014, soil contaminated with dioxin/furan compounds was found at the site. SSA’s contractors, with Ecology oversight, further investigated the nature and extent of the dioxin/furan contamination. Based on those results, Ecology decided that additional cleanup actions must be done to protect people and animals from contacting contaminated soils.

The contaminated soils are found in the central part of the property, within a former soil handling area, and six other isolated locations. Dioxin levels in the soil in these areas exceed cleanup levels for industrial sites. Cleanup levels for dioxins in industrial areas are 1,680 parts per trillion. The average concentration of dioxins in the contaminated areas of site soil is 53,905 parts per trillion. Groundwater levels do not exceed applicable cleanup levels.

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In 2009, SSA implemented final cleanup actions to address contamination from pentachlorphenol production. Ecology oversaw the cleanup process and the work was completed as planned. The contaminated areas were excavated and the soil was disposed of. Groundwater was remediated through pump and treat methods and monitored natural attenuation (through biodegradation). The soil and groundwater at the property meet industrial cleanup levels for the contaminants of concern that had been identified for the site.

However, dioxin compounds were not identified as contaminants of concern at the property during previous investigations and cleanup actions. SSA, with Ecology oversight, will address the dioxin contamination through a supplemental cleanup action.


Map showing site location as Pierce County, WA SITE INFORMATION


View Electronic Documents

Cleanup Site Details Report

Facility Site ID: # 68593938

Cleanup Site ID: 3438

Tacoma, Pierce County

Status: Cleanup Started   Get definitions of Status terminology

Stan Leja
Site Manager
(360) 407-6345

Bridgette Valdez-Kogle
Public Involvement Coordinator

Document Repositories:

Southwest Regional Office
300 Desmond Dr SE
Lacey, 98503-1274

Citizens for a Healthy Bay
535 Dock St., Suite 213
Tacoma, 98402

Tacoma Public Library
1102 Tacoma Avenue S
Tacoma, 98402