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Monday, December 4, 2023
Dec. 4, 2023

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Ecology seeks comment on cleanup of Port of Vancouver property

Cadet Swan site formerly housed electric heater plant

By , Columbian staff writer

Correction: A previous version of this story inaccurately described actions under focus for the Washington Department of Ecology’s public comment period to remove and dispose of stormwater pond sediments at the Port of Vancouver.

The Washington Department of Ecology opened its public comment period through July 17 concerning an interim action to remove and dispose of stormwater pond sediments at the Port of Vancouver. The pond receives stormwater from the NuStar Terminals Services and Kinder Morgan Bulk Terminals.

Since 1998, the Port of Vancouver has repeatedly removed contaminated stormwater solids from a human-made pond used to collect runoff and continues to conduct maintenance.


In 1956, Swan Manufacturing assembled electrical heaters at the corner of West Fourth Plain Boulevard and St. Frances Lane before moving to 2500 W. Fourth Plain Blvd., in Fruit Valley. The company’s ownership transferred to Cadet Manufacturing in 1972, which continued to make heaters.

Chlorinated solvents used to degrease and clean metal parts leaked into soil and groundwater at both facilities. The Port of Vancouver acquired both the Swan and Cadet properties, respectively in 1982 and 2006.

NuStar Terminals Services Inc. and Kinder Morgan Bulk Terminals LLC, both neighboring operations, sit along the Columbia River and are closely situated southwest of Cadet and Swan. NuStar handles bulk fertilizer and Kinder Morgan moved copper ore from rail cars for export, both of which used solvents that created groundwater plumes like Swan and Cadet.

NuStar and Kinder Morgan’s sites also contain nitrate, ammonia, copper and other metals.

The total contamination plume, identified in 2009, historically encompassed north and south Fruit Valley. Today, the affected areas between Swan and Cadet and NuStar are no longer connected, according to Ecology.

Groundwater and soil contamination hasn’t negatively affected community drinking water wells, according to Ecology. However, exposure to these substances can be harmful to human health and the environment.

To comment

Statements can be made online at https://tcp.ecology.commentinput.com/?id=JFPUVkABa. Print documents are available at the Vancouver Community Library, 901 C. St., or at Ecology’s office, 300 Desmond Drive S.E. in Lacey, by appointment.

Any questions about the cleanup can be fielded to Ecology project manager Sam Meng at sam.meng@ecy.wa.gov or 360-999-9587. Inquiries about public involvement can be directed to Ecology community outreach coordinator Matt Fuller at matt.fuller@ecy.wa.gov or 360-485-5340.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.

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