Ecology Invites Comments on Fidalgo Bay Cleanup

Comments are being sought on a possible clean-up plan for an old mill site on Fidalgo Bay that could remake the Anacortes waterfront’s environmental and economic future.

The proposed cleanup of the former Scott Paper mill site is the largest single effort to date planned under the Puget Sound Initiative.

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is working with the Port of Anacortes, Kimberly-Clark, and MJB Properties to clean up the site. The Scott site totals about 41 acres between 17th and 20th streets, and east of Q Avenue in downtown Anacortes.

Ecology will seek public comments on some key proposed cleanup documents: a Draft Cleanup Action Plan, which describes recommended cleanup, restoration, and follow-up actions; and the Consent Decree, the legal agreement that guides the clean-up effort. On March 17, Ecology will hold two public meetings/hearings on the proposed cleanup.

“The work we’re doing to clean up the Scott site is a model for restoring and protecting Puget Sound,” said Tim Nord of Ecology’s Toxics Cleanup Program. “The Anacortes community will enjoy better beaches and shorelines, more and improved recreational opportunities, a healthier environment, and improved marine habitat throughout Fidalgo Bay.”

Nord added: “The Scott cleanup is a great example of how building partnerships will lead to cleaning up Fidalgo Bay and the other high-priority bays around the Sound. This project would not be possible without the help of the Port, MJB Properties, Kimberly-Clark, and the Samish and Swinomish tribes. We took advantage of state, local, and tribal government expertise and other resources, and added state clean-up money to help the project move forward.”

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