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Rayonier Mill history & contamination

Rayonier A.M. Properties LLC (Rayonier) ran a pulp mill on the Rayonier Mill site for about 60 years until it was dismantled in 1997. Over the years, the mill discharged industrial waste into the air, soil, and water through contaminated smoke and wastewater. This left dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other contaminants in and around Port Angeles Harbor. We are working with Rayonier to investigate and clean up the contamination.

Location

The former Rayonier Mill address is 700 North Ennis Street, on the Port Angeles waterfront. This property is part of a larger cleanup area that doesn’t have formal boundaries yet. Our study of dioxin sources in Port Angeles Harbor sediment showed that contamination in the harbor comes from different sources and could have been moved within the harbor by water. We are completing investigations that give us the information we need to draw site boundaries that clearly define responsibility for cleanup.

Until we draw those boundaries, we call the area we are investigating the study area. Investigating the study area is the responsibility of Rayonier A.M. Properties LLC (Rayonier) until the full site can be identified. The study area includes:

  • Property owned or leased by Rayonier
  • Marine sediments next to the property

We have investigated two areas outside of the study area to help determine the extent of contamination from Rayonier or other potential sources. Read about the Port Angeles Harbor Sediments Study and the Rayonier Mill Off-Property Soil Dioxin Study on our Port Angeles Harbor-wide page.

Contamination

Early in its operation, the mill released untreated wastewater from their pulp-making process into Port Angeles Harbor. The mill also burned seawater-soaked wood in the hog fuel boilers. The smoke from the boilers carried pollutants, including dioxins. Other industrial chemicals were released into the environment as well.

To prevent pollution in the harbor, the mill started treating its wastewater in the 1970s. After this change, less pollution was released into the harbor.

After thorough investigations in water, sediment, and soil, we have found these pollutants in the study area and off-property areas: