Port’s Remediation Project Explained

The Washington State Department of Ecology and the Port of Ridgefield have been working to clean up the environmental contamination caused by the former Pacific Wood Treating Company (PWT) mill on the Ridgefield waterfront.  The mill operated between 1963 and 1993.  The clean up project is nearing completion.  However, in investigating the extent of contamination emanating from the mill property, elevated levels of dioxin were discovered in the public right-of-ways between Mill and Maple Streets and Main and the railroad.

Ecology is concerned that dioxins may also be present in people’s yards. When ingested, dioxins may cause cancer.  Therefore, Ecology is seeking permission from property owners to collect soil samples from people’s yards.  Ecology will then test these samples for dioxins.  Ecology will then report their findings back to the property owners.  If elevated levels of dioxin are found in the study area, Ecology will determine what additional actions are necessary and inform the residents and property owners.

Washington State Department of Ecology is hosting an open house for residents and property owners in the neighborhood between Mill and Maple Streets and from Main Avenue to the railroad.  Ecology is proposing to sample soil from people’s yards to test for the presence of contaminants related to the Pacific Wood Treating Company Mill. The meeting is scheduled for March 10th at the Ridgefield Community Center.  The meeting is open to the public.  Ecology will be making a formal presentation, however a firm start time has not been announced.

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