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) (link is external) for a 30 day public comment period from August 11th, 2016 to September 1, 2016
After public comment review and analysis, the trustees released the Final Damage Assessment Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (link is external) in December 2016.
The preferred restoration project is the Blue Heron Slough Restoration Project, under which 354 acres of habitat complexes would be developed to benefit the suite of natural resources that were injured by releases of hazardous substances into Port Gardner Bay. These habitat complexes include off channel habitat, marsh habitat, mudflat habitat, and riparian habitat.