Comments sought on Ridgefield site cleanup

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The Washington Department of Ecology is inviting comment on a new plan for cleaning up the contaminated former Pacific Wood Treating site at the Port of Ridgefield.

The latest interim plan is a continuation of work done under a 10-year-old legal agreement between Ecology and the port in which the port committed to investigate and clean up soil and groundwater contamination caused by the company’s operations. Among the contaminants to be removed in this phase are metals and volatile organic compounds.

The plan outlines steps to clean up two “cells “ at the site by removing contaminated soil, disposing of it in a specially designated landfill, and backfilling the cells with clean soil.

So far, the cleanup has succeeded in removing considerable amounts of wood-treating chemicals from the soil and groundwater and has shrunk the size of the area of groundwater contamination, according to the Ecology officials.

The 41-acre site operated as a wood- treating company from 1963 to 1993, soaking the ground with cancer-causing pollutants. The company went bankrupt in 1993 and ceased operations.

Ecology has contributed more than $50 million in grants and loans toward the cleanup, which is expected to cost taxpayers between $68 million and $70 million by the time it’s complete.

The full interim cleanup plan is available for review at the Ridgefield Library, 210 N. Main Ave., or online at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/sites/pacWoodTreat/pacWoodTreat_hp.html.

Comments should be directed to Craig Rankine at 360-690-4795 or Craig.Rankine@ecy.wa.gov, or mailed to 2108 Grand Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98661.

Comments will be accepted through May 25.