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Historic practices have contaminated soil and groundwater at this site. We're moving through the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) cleanup process to protect people, wildlife, and the environment from contamination.
This site was home to several industries (a chemical manufacturer for the paper industry, shipbuilding, and military operations) from 1929 – 2002.
It is no longer operating. The above-ground features of the manufacturing plant are removed and little remains of the industrial equipment except for the groundwater treatment plant.
Primary products produced on-site include:
Contamination from these operations is in soil and groundwater at and near the property. The chemicals in the groundwater and soil include:
Solvent and pH plumes at Occidental site
There is no direct risk to the public of exposure to contamination on-site.
Only authorized people are allowed to enter the site area. Cleanup workers at the site follow a site safety plan developed and overseen by Occidental and its contractors. The plan limits the workers’ direct contact with contaminated soil, groundwater, and sediment, or breathing indoor air at the site and at the neighboring Port of Tacoma property.
Chemicals could enter the body three ways:
People who eat fish and shellfish from Hylebos Waterway may have an indirect risk of exposure. We will address this indirect risk through our proposed cleanup actions. We will continue to keep you updated. Washington Department of Health has more information about healthy fish consumption.
Touching contaminated soils, breathing vapors from inside buildings, and those who consume fish and shellfish could be exposed. Safe activities include swimming, wading, boating, and paddle boarding.
Occidental studied the nature and extent of contamination. This work was overseen by Ecology and EPA.
In 2015, we asked for public comment on the draft remedial investigation (RI). The RI provides an in-depth explanation of this site’s characteristics like the geology, hydrogeology, and the nature and extent of contamination.
After hearing from the public, we knew we had to study more to understand this complex cleanup site. We worked with a contractor, Ridolfi Environmental, to evaluate the risk and exposure pathways to contamination.
Occidental and its contractors studied the sediments and porewater in Hylebos Waterway and inner Commencement Bay. Ecology and EPA oversaw this study. We also conducted a study on indoor air contamination and potential risks of vapor intrusion at nearby industrial properties. These studies, along with a draft feasibility study, went out for public comment in 2017.
We studied contamination at the canoe landing site for the Puyallup Tribe's "Paddle Power to Puyallup." We found no contamination from the Occidental site and presented the results to the Canoe Council. We also researched the potential impact of natural disasters on the site cleanup and studied the contaminant plume’s stability. The results of these studies are in our feasibility study response to comments.
Over the years, Occidental, Ecology, and EPA have conducted several studies to understand the contamination of this site. These studies include:
You can find these reports and other technical, administrative, and public information documents at our Occidental Site electronic documents database.
Occidental contractors get ready to sample sediments and porewater in the Hylebos Waterway and inner Commencement Bay. Ecology and EPA oversaw this study.