Hazardous Waste Site | Everett, Washington | Early 1900s to Present
The Port Gardner Bay/Snohomish River Estuary receives contaminant inputs from multiple sources. Releases of hazardous substances into Port Gardner Bay have resulted from industrial and municipal processes since the early 1900s, including factories, spills during cargo transfer and refueling, storm water runoff through contaminated soils at upland facilities, discharge of contaminated groundwater, and lumber operations, such as sawmills, and pulp and paper mills.
What Were the Impacts?
Data indicate that there is sediment contamination in some areas of Port Gardner that is sufficient to cause injury to natural resources. The Port Gardner and Snohomish River estuary area provides important spawning, rearing, and feeding areas for many fish and wildlife species.
Historically, the lower estuary consisted of mudflats, tidal marshes, scrub-shrub wetlands, and swamp forests at higher elevations. Federally-listed species under the Endangered Species Act are known to occur or may be found in the vicinity of the Port Gardner Assessment Area and include Coastal-Puget Sound Bull Trout, Puget Sound Chinook salmon, and Puget Sound steelhead.
What’s Happening Now?
In response to the historical releases of hazardous materials into Port Gardner Bay, federal, state, and tribal natural resource Trustees announced the release of a Draft Damage Assessment Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (Plan/EA) for public comment on August 11th, 2016. The preferred restoration project is to contribute toward the completion of the Blue Heron Slough Restoration Project. This larger project, intended to address other conservation and mitigation needs, as well as address natural resource injuries from Port Gardner Bay, will restore approximately 350 acres of intertidal, wetland, and riparian habitat in the Snohomish estuary to benefit salmon and other species. The public is invited to review and comment on the proposed plan and EA for 30 days. Comments will be accepted until close of business, September 1, 2016. Comments can be sent to the USFWS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cleanup actions in Port Gardner are being addressed by the Washington Department of Ecology.