Bellingham Bay cleanup sites
We are managing cleanups of 12 sites in the Bellingham Bay area. All are on or very near the Bellingham waterfront. Two sites are completed, but we need to monitor them to make sure they meet cleanup goals. The other 10 are in various stages in the cleanup process. Ecology oversees cleanup work done by the City of Bellingham, the Port of Bellingham, and several other liable parties on these sites, and their contractors.
These 12 cleanup sites are part of the Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot Project. This is a coordinated baywide effort by federal, tribal, state, and local governments to clean up contamination, control pollution sources, and restore habitat, with consideration for land and water uses. The work is guided by the Bellingham Bay Comprehensive Strategy, completed by the pilot work group in 2000.
The sites are mostly the legacy of industrial practices that preceded modern environmental laws. Soil, sediment, and groundwater were contaminated by operations at the former Georgia-Pacific pulp and paper mill, municipal landfills, wood treatment plants, shipyards, and a coal gasification plant. The former Georgia-Pacific properties make up the bulk of the pilot project area. The Georgia-Pacific West and Whatcom Waterway sites are more than 250 acres and are all or in part a result of past Georgia-Pacific operations.
The first cleanup site to be completed under the pilot program was the Holly Street Landfill site in 2005.