Update on Shelton Harbor Sediment Cleanup, Comments Sought

The State Department of Ecology updated the public on the efforts to clean up sediment in Shelton Harbor. Ecology held an open house and information session Wednesday night to discuss its new agreement with Simpson Timber Company to begin the cleanup process. During the presentation, two dozen concerned citizens heard from Section Manager Rebecca Lawson and Cleanup Project Manager Joyce Mercuri who are with Ecology’s Southwest Region Office Toxics Cleanup Program. Also in attendance was Scott Steltzner, Research Biologist with the Squaxin Island Tribe, who talked about the habitat improvement project about to begin in Oakland Bay. Ecology’s Megan MacClellan facilitated the discussion.

Oakland Bay and Shelton Harbor are contaminated from decades of industrial use. Chemicals, wood waste, and waste water from timber and wood product manufacturing were discharged into the Bay, which is one of the most productive shellfish growing areas in the country. Research shows the contamination in the bay is most concentrated in Shelton Harbor. Ecology has a new legal agreement with the Simpson Timber Company, called an agreed order, which requires Simpson to:

  1. Describe the types and extent of contamination in Shelton Harbor through a remedial investigation.
  2. Develop and carry out a partial cleanup plan called an interim action.
  3. Evaluate cleanup options through a feasibility study.
  4. Choose cleanup methods through a draft cleanup plan.

Ecology is seeking public input on the order until June 26th. Comments and questions can be submitted to Joyce Mercuri by email (jmer461@ECY.WA.GOV) or mail them to Ecology’ Southwest Regional Office at PO Box 47775, Olympia, WA 98504-7775.

More information is available online: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=13007

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