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Category: Bellingham bay cleanup: death of alternative j

Bellingham bay cleanup: death of alternative j

That document was prepared by G-P's consultants to describe to the State what measures are implied by which standards, and what actions are appropriate according to which goals. Therefore a range of options has been proposed.

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This comes from a consensus-based, agency-driven process - a process characterized by conflict aversion and the stark absence of citizen or victim representation. These "Alternatives" detail options from removing all to none of the contaminated sediment in the Whatcom Waterway project area. Despite years of participation in the Bay Action Group, the Port's proposals for the G-P acquisition project are a sudden departure from the framework developed to date.

The Port's proposal removes the least amount of polluted sediment from the bay, leaving most in place, some capped and left to follow the "Natural Recovery" approach championed by G-P's Chip Hilardes.

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G-P's treatment lagoon, recently contemplated as contaminated sediment repository, is instead converted to a yacht basin. Uplands would be remediated according to remedial investigations underway and eventually sold off to the private sector. These documents are worth reading because they underscore several important :features of the Bellingham Bay situation, namely:. The foregoing points will shed a somewhat different light on the alternatives than was originally intended.

Look to see how many cubic yards are actually being removed, and where they are being put, how much is being covered up? Look also at some typical project costs. Under this alternative, there would be no sediment cleanup, habitat restoration, monitoring activities, or land use actions.

The exiting Log Pond cap would be maintained, and the existing Bay sediments would continue to recover naturally over time. This alternative would utilize natural recovery in those parts of the WW Area that are predicted to naturally achieve SQS criteria within approximately 3 years bywhich is as rapid as biological resources could potentially recover at the site following a more active cleanup e. Those areas of the site that are not predicted to recover, and which occur outside of the navigation channel, would be capped with a 1- to 3- foot sand layer.

A relatively small area in the middle of the Whatcom Waterway that is predicted to recover bypartly as a result of resuspension-related transport, would be left to recover naturally. All cleanup areas of the site would be monitored to document sediment recovery using a combination of chemical and biological testing methods. No dredging would occur under this alternative.

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A layout of Alternative B is presented in Figure 4. This alternative combines capping and limited dredging within the middle of the Whatcom Waterway navigation channel to achieve SQS criteria throughout the WW Area.

As in Alternative B, those areas of the site that are not predicted to recover using conservative modeling assumptionsand which occur outside of the navigation channel, would be capped with a 1- to 3-foot sand layer. No further action would be undertaken in the outer Whatcom Waterway reach where surface sediments currently meet SQS criteria and where channel depths are consistent with the federally authorized elevations. Surface and subsurface sediments within the middle of the Whatcom Waterway adjacent to the G-P Log Pond would be dredged to a depth of at least 5 feet below the currently authorized channel depths.

Since subsurface contaminants would still be present below the dredge depth, the dredge cut would be capped with a 2-to foot clean sand layer, resulting in a final channel elevation at least 2 feet below the authorized depth. This dredge-and-cap action would leave sufficient tolerance to Identification and Assembly of Cleanup Technologies Supplemental Feasibility Study 16 March Whatcom Waterway Site, Bellingham, Washington T6 allow unencumbered future maintenance dredging of the authorized federal channel in this area, considering typical overdredge allowances.

No action would be undertaken at the head of the Whatcom Waterway i. An estimatedCY of sediments would be dredged under this alternative. Excess sediments that do not fit into the nearshore fill would be disposed at an offsite upland landfill. A layout of Alternative C is presented in Figure 5.Post a Comment.

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The cleanup liabilities with the site are that daunting. GP had developed Alternative J as a preferred cleanup for the Whatcom Waterway and Bay, but this plan only covered those areas; significant contamination areas are located on the uplands at the former mill site. The Port proposed changing the land use of the ASB from an upland to a marine environment. They wanted the ASB to become a marina.

This policy position meant that Alternative J was no longer acceptable. In addition ASB could no longer be used as a location to place dredged sediment from the waterway and bay. Remember that when GP was considering options for cleaning up the Bay, the Port insisted GP dredge the waterway to the mandated depth of 38 feet as a Federal Waterway.

The Port along with the City of Bellingham's approval moved to have most of the waterway de-designated as a Federal channel. Deep draft boats would no longer be able to pull into the waterway. The Port and City began lobbying the U. That is why it takes an act of Congress.

The Port had decided that a federal shipping channel was not of much value anymore. Indeed because of the way Bellingham is hemmed in by mountains, the Port of Bellingham has never been a big shipping terminal relative to the huge ports in Portland, Tacoma, Seattle and Vancouver.

With closure of GP the need for a shipping channel was greatly reduced at least in the near term. Further, with the channel no longer under federal standards, the Port would have greater flexibility in how the channel would be managed. The Port called the de-designated channel a "locally managed multipurpose channel". With the Federal Channel no longer an issue, the amount of dredging was greatly reduced. The Port could now cap the contaminated areas with a layer of clean sediment.

Another factor is that dredging is highly disruptive of the sediments and can cause short term harm when the sediments are disturbed.The cleanup liabilities with the site are that daunting.

GP had developed Alternative J as a preferred cleanup for the Whatcom Waterway and Bay, but this plan only covered those areas; significant contamination areas are located on the uplands at the former mill site.

The Port proposed changing the land use of the ASB from an upland to a marine environment. They wanted the ASB to become a marina. This policy position meant that Alternative J was no longer acceptable. In addition ASB could no longer be used as a location to place dredged sediment from the waterway and bay.

Remember that when GP was considering options for cleaning up the Bay, the Port insisted GP dredge the waterway to the mandated depth of 38 feet as a Federal Waterway. The Port along with the City of Bellingham's approval moved to have most of the waterway de-designated as a Federal channel. Deep draft boats would no longer be able to pull into the waterway. The Port and City began lobbying the U. That is why it takes an act of Congress. The Port had decided that a federal shipping channel was not of much value anymore.

Indeed because of the way Bellingham is hemmed in by mountains, the Port of Bellingham has never been a big shipping terminal relative to the huge ports in Portland, Tacoma, Seattle and Vancouver. With closure of GP the need for a shipping channel was greatly reduced at least in the near term. Further, with the channel no longer under federal standards, the Port would have greater flexibility in how the channel would be managed. The Port called the de-designated channel a "locally managed multipurpose channel".

With the Federal Channel no longer an issue, the amount of dredging was greatly reduced. The Port could now cap the contaminated areas with a layer of clean sediment. Another factor is that dredging is highly disruptive of the sediments and can cause short term harm when the sediments are disturbed.

Previous testing had indicated that much of the contaminated sediments had been naturally capped by natural processes from the silt laden glacial melt water of the Nooksack River which empties into the bay.

A few areas of dredging would still need to take place at locations where currents did not allow silt to settle on the sea floor and in areas where deep draft shipping could still take place. Just how thick the cap would need to be, and where dredging would take place would require a fair bit more detailed study and the port began those studies.

The success of capping approaches are not without significant debate. Mercury can mobilize under changing oxygen and pH conditions on a very localized level; hence, capping approaches are not without significant risk and require lots of ongoing monitoring to ensure the cap approach is actually working.

Besides the Federal channel issue the Port needed to get the Department of Natural Resources to change the inner and outer harbor line boundary in order to have full control over most of the cleanup issues. That move was completed as well. Schematic of the Port's vision. Click to enlarge and note dredge areas and cap areas. The Port's vision of the cleanup and the resulting land use is pictured above. The Port has indicated they would prefer to convert the lagoon to a marina and follow a different alternative to clean up the waterway and bay.

Ecology accepted this analysis and accepted the Port's preferred cleanup approach. Disproportionate Cost Analysis Diagram.Shall the commission: Implement the Intergovernmental Framework agreement 2 with the Lummi Nation?

That agreement set up goals and objectives aimed at resolving past disagreements regarding Bellingham Bay and associated shorelines and to jointly pursue opportunities throughout Whatcom County.

The framework agreement anticipated that standalone, legally binding implementation agreements would be negotiated on specific issues. The port and the Lummi Nation also approved in agreement 1 specific responsibilities and obligations of both the Port and the Lummi Nation.

Agreement 2 addresses impacts to Lummi Treaty Rights from historical changes to tidal, subtitle and shorelines in Bellingham Bay and Drayton Harbor. There is a shared goal of a strong and sustainable Lummi Nation fishing fleet for commercial, ceremonial and subsistence harvesting. The port grants access and use of port boat launch facilities to Lummi Nation fishers with no launch fee. The port and Bornstein Seafoods have been labeled as potentially liable parties for contamination at the site and are responsible for the cleanup.

The state temporarily suspended the project pending clarification of the dredge management program in and re-started it in The port, in coordination with Bornstein Seafoods and the state, have developed a draft cleanup action plan for the site which describes how the preferred alternative will be implemented.

Authorize the executive director to sign the — collective bargaining agreement with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, local 7- clerical? Renew and modify a lease with Teal Jones Lumber Services? Lumber is shipped from British Columbia to Socco Forest Services in Sumas where it is dried, it is cut and planed and shipped to customers.

Teal Joes is planning on installing kilns on its nine acre parcel. Increase the base salary for the executive director by 3. Declare specified equipment as surplus and sell it at public auction? The surplus property includes: 12 gas heaters, two shuttle buses, three snow plows, four pumpout carts, three self propelled mowers, four leaf blowers, 12 planting pots, one tractor, S pickup, Ford F, drill press, bench grinder, used gas and diesel tanks and more.

The port did not have approval from the federal government to spend the funds so the port is donating them to the Pullman-Moscow regional airport. Authorize the executive director to sign the Allegiant Airlines marketing fund for the Bellingham to Anchorage air service?

Bellingham Bay cleanup

Authorize the executive director to sign an agreed order amendment 3 with the state of Washington to perform cleanup at the Chlor-Alkali remedial action unit?

Mercury-contaminated soils and contaminated building material have been removed from the bunker C subarea. This amendment requires the port to develop a public-review cleanup action plan for public review and comment. The county administers the program and the money comes from portions of the rural sales tax which can only be used for public facility projects. The port is constructing a 2, square foot building to provide shop and office space for the boat yard.

bellingham bay cleanup: death of alternative j

The existing vehicle washing and cleaning facility consists of a square foot three-sided, metal building. The proposed facility will include a 49, square foot vehicle staging area and a 4, square foot building with four vehicle wash bays, a shared break room, one lavatory, and four storage rooms.

Approve moorage rates? The approved model set 4 percent annual increases for all recreational moorage, 2 percent increases for active commercial fishing in years ; the resolution stated the model would be reviewed every four years. The increases apply only to the recreational moorage rates. The two water line failures occurred on February 5 and 6 at the Bellingham airport. Freezing temperatures that resulted in the freezing and breaking of a primary fire suppression system.

April Whatcom Watch Online. Skip to content. Port of Bellingham Commission Whatcom Watch.Why arent the various toxic sites around downtown Bellingham marked by signage. Where are the lawsuits to force the Port to clean up the bay? Are the people of Bellingham content keeping their heads in the sand while being poisioned.

Is there a way that we can read all chapters of the Bellingham cleanup saga in one place or consecutively easily?

Port of Bellingham Commission

Judith: The other chapters 5 in total mostly follow directly after this one so just click "newer post" on the bottom left. You can skip the two other posts on the mix one on I and another on Cherry Point Coal terminal. Post a Comment.

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Georgia-Pacific Paper Mill is to the left. Note plume of pollution within the waterway. And perhaps this story has some other lessons as well. The fill area had been used as an industrial site for many years and included a paper mill before GP acquired the site. GP built a chlor-alkali plant on the site in This plant produced chlorine for bleaching paper.

The method of producing the chlorine used mercury cells as cathodes to separate sodium and chlorine out of salt water. However, the discharge in the waterway as shown above left a legacy of mercury contaminated sediments that remain to this day.

The discharge out in the bay likewise left an area of mercury tainted sediments near the discharge pipe. GP made improvements to the operation of the chlor-alkali plant and other plant operations that greatly reduced the mercury discharges. They also built a large enclosed lagoon called the Aerated Sediment Basin ASB to settle out organics and aerate them before the waste water was discharged into the bay.

bellingham bay cleanup: death of alternative j

Ferris said Great History June 27, at PM Judith said November 5, at PM. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. Dan has been reading Washington State landscapes since driving across the Horse Heaven Hills with his father and brother in Dan's wife has started painting Washington landscapes.

The intent of this blog is to help all Washington travelers better understand the landscapes we see and share field observations.I've been told by a reputable source, but haven't been able to verify it, that the Kittitas Valley wherein these cliffs found was named by the Yakama using their word s? When you think about how gorgeous and extensive the entire valley is, it's interesting to think about why this geologic feature was chosen to represent the entire area. Or maybe that's just me.

Post a Comment. The three pictures above are from the western stop. There are multiple deposits and interesting cross-cutting features. May 26, at PM. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. Dan has been reading Washington State landscapes since driving across the Horse Heaven Hills with his father and brother in Dan's wife has started painting Washington landscapes.

The intent of this blog is to help all Washington travelers better understand the landscapes we see and share field observations. View my complete profile. My Blog List. Gravel Beach. In the Company of Plants and Rocks. Northwest Geology Field Trips.

Racehorse fossil fields- update 6 days ago. Vox - All.

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Bellingham Bay Cleanup Planning - 15 Years at leaWe are managing the cleanup of 12 sites in the Bellingham Bay area. All are on or near the waterfront.

Two sites have been completely cleaned up, and we are monitoring them to make sure they continue to meet cleanup goals. Most of the other 10 have had some clean up and are on their way to completion.

The Port of Bellingham, the City of Bellingham, and others are doing the cleanup work under legal agreements with us. Click on a site for more information or read about the sites belowlisted from north to south. The cleanup sites along Bellingham Bay are the legacy of municipal and industrial practices that preceded modern environmental laws. Soil, marine sediment, and groundwater were contaminated by operations at the former Georgia-Pacific pulp and paper mill, municipal landfills, wood treatment plants, shipyards, and a coal gasification plant.

Cleaning up contaminated sediment is challenging. Site-specific sources include contaminated soil runoff and contaminated groundwater flowing to the sediment. Our Cleanup Update for Bellingham Bay reports the progress made inprovides the current status of each site, and describes the work planned in Click image above to learn more or download a text explanation. Site information Eldridge Municipal Landfill webpage Fact Sheet Site description This site has contaminated soil from former municipal landfilling activities.

Site information Marine Services NW webpage Site Description This site has contaminated sediment associated with past boatyard practices. Site information R. This bay-wide effort included 12 agencies from federal, tribal, state, and local governments, and Georgia-Pacific West. Today, this group is called the Bellingham Bay Action Team. It has a slightly different composition and is mainly led by us. McInerney ecy. Fawley ecy.

I want to Cleanup sites and progress. These are two distinct but related studies that are usually performed at the same time. Planned work for Pending. Current status Cleanup process complete Planned work for Continued monitoring.

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