4242 Aldergrove Rd, Ferndale, WA 98248

March 2017 - Treoil Industries site overview looking north.
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In 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an emergency removal site evaluation at the Treoil facility.  EPA staff then removed thousands of gallons of hazardous waste for safe disposal.  The EPA’s action, carried out in two phases, followed a site visit and administrative order to the site owner by the Washington Department of Ecology that raised concerns about how this material was being stored on the site.

EPA’s Treoil Industries Assessment and Emergency Removal Report (November 2017) reported the removal of:

  • 6,750 gallons of crude glycerin
  • 93,000 gallons of liquid tall oil and tall oil derivative wastes
  • 275 tons of soil, sludge and debris
  • 430 containers, 35 drums and 9 cylinders of hazardous chemicals
  • 8 cubic yards of asbestos containing material

September 2014 - Drums at the Treoil Industries site
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The Treoil Industries cleanup site is located in Whatcom County, northwest of the city of Ferndale.  The site was used historically for numerous industrial operations, primarily for processing tall oil (a byproduct of Kraft paper pulping processing), but also for refining biodiesel and other small-scale industrial ventures.  These industrial operations were concentrated on a 3.5-acre section of the total 34-acre site.

History & Environmental Investigations
Since the 1990s, numerous Ecology inspectors have visited the Treoil Industries site investigating environmental concerns.  

  • 1991:  Ecology issued a Notice of Violation for the discharge of spilled material to a drainage ditch that eventually leads to the Strait of Georgia.
  • 1994:  Site placed on Ecology’s Confirmed and Suspected Contaminated Sites List.
  • 2000-2001:  Ecology and Whatcom County conducted a Site Hazard Assessment under the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). The site was listed on the Hazardous Sites List for confirmed contamination of soils with metals, petroleum hydrocarbon, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  The site was ranked through the Washington Ranking Method (WARM) with a score of “2.”  (Sites are ranked between 1 and 5, where “1” represents the highest level of risk to human and environmental health and a “5” the lowest.) 
    - The EPA also conducted a Removal Site Evaluation to determine potential threats of discharge to waters of the United States and did not find a threat at that time but made recommendations for cleanup.
  • 2006:  A multi-agency advisory visit provided technical assistance and identified numerous site concerns.
  • 2014:  Ecology received an additional formal complaint regarding the site.  Ecology and Whatcom County conducted an initial investigation and a dangerous waste compliance inspection identifying poor containment practices with waste and oily substances on the ground.
  • 2015-2016:  Ecology’s hazardous waste program initiated enforcement action in the form of an Administrative Order and an Amended Administrative Order to the property owners as a result of non-compliance with the Dangerous Waste Regulations, Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Chapter 173-303.  Inspectors visited the site several times to note progress toward compliance.  During one of these visits, conducted jointly with Ecology’s water quality program, it was determined that the site met qualifications for an Industrial Stormwater General Permit: Treoil Industries Permit Number WAR303019.
  • 2017:  Ecology monitored site progress and found conditions were not in compliance with the enforcement order.  Due to concerns with imminent threats to human health and the environment, Ecology contacted the EPA for assistance.  See EPA Treoil Industries Webpage for response.
  • Present:  Ecology programs continue to monitor site progress and compliance.


Map showing site location as Whatcom County, WA SITE INFORMATION


View Electronic Documents

Cleanup Site Details Report

Facility Site ID: # 2919

Cleanup Site ID: 950

Ferndale, Whatcom County

Status: Awaiting Cleanup   Get definitions of Status terminology

Ian Fawley
Public Involvement Coordinator
(360) 255-4382

Document Repositories:

Northwest Regional Office
3190 160th Ave SE
Bellevue, 98008-5452

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