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News / Business / Clark County Business

Cleanup of contaminated Park Laundry site in Ridgefield begins

Once the cleanup is done in early 2025 the site can be redeveloped

By Chrissy Booker, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 24, 2024, 3:01pm
3 Photos
The Park Laundry site in Downtown Ridgefield.
The Park Laundry site in Downtown Ridgefield. (Photo contributed by city of Ridgefield) Photo Gallery

Cleanup has begun at the contaminated Park Laundry site in downtown Ridgefield.

The city of Ridgefield was awarded $2 million from the Washington State Department of Ecology and $195,000 from the Washington Department of Commerce to restore the site at 122 N. Main Ave., which was contaminated with liquid solvents from a laundry facility. The property is currently covered in gravel and used for parking. The cleanup is expected to be completed in early 2025.

The property was last used as a laundry facility from about 1965 to 1977, according to a news release from the city of Ridgefield. The Park Laundry building was demolished more than 20 years ago, and the property is now owned by the city of Ridgefield.

During the laundry’s operation, a liquid solvent commonly used in dry-cleaning called tetrachloroethene was released into the soil and groundwater.

The soil and groundwater contained levels of tetrachloroethene and trichloroethene in excess of Ecology’s safety standards.

The former police station, 116 N. Main Ave., and the old jail behind that building, will be demolished and those sites will be filled with gravel.

Excavation and cleanup work will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Megan DeMoss, Ridgefield’s communications coordinator, said parking will not be permitted within the cleanup area for the duration of the project. However, off-street public parking is available at Davis Park, on North Third Avenue, and off Mill Street and Railroad Avenue. DeMoss said she does not expect the project to cause traffic or congestion.

“There’s essentially five separate lots within that fence. So they’re starting with the two northernmost lots that are privately owned. Those lots are not considered Park Laundry sites, but they’re considered the source area of contamination,” DeMoss said.

Ecology designed the restoration plan and Gemini Environmental Strategies will carry out the cleanup. That team will conduct soil excavation, groundwater remediation and monitoring to ensure the site is ready for future use.

Future use

The Ridgefield Police Department moved to 101 Mill St., Suite 110, in July. The old Ridgefield jail has most recently been used for storage, but the city will reconstruct it to be reserved for future use in a museum or historical interpretive center.

Once the cleanup is done, the rest of the site will be eligible for redevelopment.

DeMoss said there is currently no plan for the property.

“Since the project is currently contaminated, it’s not eligible to have anything constructed on it,” DeMoss said. “Since we were able to use the grant from the state and from the Department of Commerce to clean it up, that will make the site eligible to be developed by anyone who would like to do a project that’s going to help revitalize our historic downtown and create a vibrant area.”

For more information, visit ridgefieldroundtable.org.