Politics & Government

State plans Hardel Plywood cleanup

OLYMPIA - A major push to clean up contaminated soil and groundwater at the old Hardel Plywood plant site on West Bay Drive should kick off early this spring, state Department of Ecology officials said Tuesday.

Pollutants targeted for cleanup include heavy oil, diesel by-products and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found at levels considered potentially harmful to exposed humans and aquatic life.

Likely sources include wood and fuel burning, oil spills and leaking fuel tanks at a 17.8-acre site used by logging and lumber businesses from 1924 to 1996.

The site has been idle since a spectacular fire swept through the Hardel Mutual Plywood plant in 1996.

Nearly 15,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from four locations will be excavated and transported to an approved disposal site, according to the interim action work plan prepared for Hardel by Greylock Consulting LLC of Federal Way.

Petroleum products floating on the water table – the depth at which the ground becomes saturated – will be recovered and treated on site in two 21,000-gallon tanks, according to the report.

The volume of contaminated water won’t be known until the work is under way, Ecology project manager Guy Barrett said.

The site is 6.7 acres of uplands and 11.1 acres of tidelands. There’s no evidence that upland pollution from the site has seeped into Budd Inlet, Barrett said.

Investigations at the site in 2004 confirmed the contamination.

To access the pollution hot spots, contractors must first break up and remove portions of a thick concrete building foundation that covers much of the upland area. Clean concrete will be crushed and reused as fill above the water table while any contaminated concrete will be hauled to a landfill, according to the Greylock report.

Hardel is one of seven sites on the shorelines of Budd Inlet in various stages of cleanup under Ecology’s supervision.