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Study outlines remaining pollution problems at former Rayonier site

January 8th, 2013 - 6:03am

(Olympia) -- A new study shows soils and water are still contaminated at the former Rayonier mill site in Port Angeles.

The Department of Ecology yesterday released a report summarizing data collected about contamination on the upland portions of the site.

The report says there are fuels, dioxin and toxic metals including arsenic, chromium, lead and mercury contaminating the soil, groundwater and surface water on the site.

The study found PCB's and fuel contamination in subsurface soil, which is soil deeper than two feet. High and low levels of pH in the groundwater was also found, which can cause some metals to move out of soil and into groundwater.

But DOE officials say the amount and type of contamination varies across the site. They say partial clean ups have removed more than 30,000 tons of contaminated soil and only lower levels of contamination remain across much of the area.

The Rayonier study area is being cleaned up under an agreed order between the state and Rayonier. The latest report will be used with another marine study to determine a final cleanup plan.

DOE says Rayonier is on schedule with its agreed order tasks and a draft marine pollution study is due in March.

The latest upland report is available through the DOE's website as well as at the Port Angeles and Peninsula College Libraries.

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