The public has an opportunity to comment on cleanup actions at the former Grays Harbor Paper site in Hoquiam.

The Department of Ecology (Ecology) posted information regarding the comment period, which is open through July 9, 2024.

Ecology initiated the process as part of the proposed Agreed Order and Public Participation Plan for cleanup actions at the former Grays Harbor Paper site and is inviting comments. 

According to Ecology, the site features a number of areas of potential cleanup.

  • The former dissolving sulfite pulp mill area produced pulp from the 1920s to 1992. The sulfite process pulps wood chips using chemical solutions of sulfite and bisulfite. Demolition of the pulp mill’s aboveground structures was completed in 1992. 
  • The paper mill area that produced paper using pulp from the on-site pulp mill (while it was in operation) and/or purchased recycled pulp from the 1920s to 2013. Demolition of the paper mill’s aboveground structures was completed in 2016. While the site historically purchased bleached recycled pulp, there was no on-site bleaching at the site. 
  • The wastewater treatment plant area, where the facility treated wastewater treatment plant effluent on-site, and basins adjacent to the wastewater treatment plant where liquids from pulping processes were stored. 
  • Sediments contiguous with the upland portions of the site that may have become contaminated due to industrial practices or the discharge of treated wastewater. 
  • Rennie Island, where the pulp mill occasionally stored spent pulping chemicals in an unlined lagoon during upset conditions.

 

Officials say that industrial practices and historical land use by the mill owners and operators may have resulted in soil and groundwater contamination at the site.

Since the 1992 pulp mill shutdown, site owners have voluntarily investigated and performed cleanup actions at some locations at the site. 

Some of the voluntary cleanup actions received a “No Further Action” status from Ecology. 

No further action letters do not constitute a settlement between parties potentially liable for cleanup and the Department of Ecology. 

At this point of the cleanup process, Ecology is providing a draft agreed order for public review and comment. When in place, the agreed order initiates the cleanup process under Ecology supervision. 

The public will have multiple opportunities to comment throughout the cleanup process.

When the comment period ends, we will review all comments received before making a decision.

 

Public Comment Period June 04, 2024-July 09, 2024

Where to find documents

Online: 

Agreed Order

Public Participation Plan

 

Comment

Online

 

By Mail: Emily Toffol
Department of Ecology
Industrial Section
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600

 

In person at Hoquiam Timberland Library, 420 7th Street, Hoquiam, WA 98550, 360-532-1710.

In person by appointment at Department of Ecology, Industrial Section, 300 Desmond Drive SE, Lacey, WA. Contact Connie Naotsuka at (564) 669-4474.

 

Public Hearing

Ecology will hold a public hearing if 10 or more people request a hearing. If you’d like to request a public hearing to provide oral comments on this action, please send your request in writing:

To request a public hearing

Ecology will hold a public hearing if 10 or more people request a hearing. If you’d like to request a public hearing to provide oral comments on this action, please send your request in writing:

online,

email: [email protected]

Mail: Tara Roberts
Department of Ecology
Industrial Section
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA  98504-7600