Rayonier Mill history & contamination
Rayonier A.M. Properties LLC ran a pulp mill on the Rayonier Mill site for about 60 years. 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.
The cleanup site and the study area
The former Rayonier Mill property is at 700 North Ennis Street, on the Port Angeles waterfront. This property is part of a larger cleanup site that doesn’t have formal site boundaries yet. We define cleanup sites by how far the contamination spread. Currently, without knowing the site boundaries, we are focused on the study area that includes:
- Property owned or leased by Rayonier
- Marine sediments next to the property
Investigating the study area is the responsibility of Rayonier.
After completing the cleanup in the study area, we will investigate contamination beyond the study area to draw site boundaries that clearly define responsibility for cleanup.
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.
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: