Port expands scope of agreed order with Ecology to fix Budd Inlet


The Port of Olympia Commission authorized Executive Director Sam Gibboney to sign an amendment to a 2008 Agreed Order with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) on Monday, May 22, expanding the scope of the needed work to remediate the contamination at Budd Inlet.

The agreed order was last amended in 2012 to focus their priorities on the West Bay berthing areas and East Bay, as well as to task the Port with drafting an interim action plan.

With almost all of the tasks from the first amendment completed, the next amendment adds additional work for the Port in preparation for the implementation of the preferred remedy.

The Port is currently working to incorporate Ecology’s comments on the draft of the interim action plan before making the document available to the public. Once the document is publicly available, Ecology would reach out to the public so they could provide comments.

The Port would then have to prepare a memorandum summarizing the data related to the project. The document would compile available data to support the design and planning of the preferred remedy, and identify any gaps in the data.

As the preferred remedy would involve the dredging of contaminated sediments, the memorandum would include data showing whether to reuse or dispose of the dredged material, as well as how dredging would affect nearby structures.

The memorandum would inform a work plan, which would describe additional field investigations and data analysis required to fill the gaps in the data. If additional data gaps are discovered, the Port would reiterate the process until a final design report is approved by Ecology.

The last task added to the agreed order is for the Port to submit designing and permitting documents, as well as a monitoring plan to evaluate the impact of the remedial action.

As the scope of the work is limited to the actions before the actual implementation of the remedy, Executive Services Director Lisa Parks told the commission that they would likely amend the agreed order again.

“That’s the iterative nature of environmental cleanups because we have to do a lot of investigation. We make decisions and then we need to investigate further to help inform future decisions,” Parks said.

The agreed order complies with the Model Toxics Control Act which requires the cleanup of sites that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. It also imposes liabilities on the current and previous owner or operator of a property that was responsible for the contamination. Ecology determined the Port as one of the liable parties for the contamination at Budd Inlet in 2008.


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  • Southsoundguy

    Bureaucracy (in)action.

    Wednesday, May 24, 2023 Report this