The Western Dredging Association (WEDA) has recognized the Port of Anacortes with the 2012 WEDA Environmental Excellence Award for the Port’s environmental remediation project at the former Scott Paper Mill in Anacortes, Washington. The award was presented June 12, 2012 at the organization’s annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. WEDA promotes the exchange of knowledge in fields related to dredging, navigation, marine engineering and construction in North, Central and South America.
The WEDA award recognizes projects for their outstanding contribution to meeting WEDA’s goals by promoting communication and understanding of environmental issues and stimulating new solutions associated with dredging and placement of dredged materials. Competing projects were rated on their innovation, environmental and economic benefits, transferability, outreach and education.
GeoEngineers designed and coordinated the two-year, $34-million-dollar project for the Port of Anacortes, in partnership with the State of Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the mill’s former owner.
The 41-acre Former Scott Paper Mill site was used for industrial purposes from the 1890s to 1979, contaminating the soil, groundwater and sediments with hydrocarbons, dioxin, PCBs, metals and wood waste. Though industrial activities had been discontinued for decades, the property remained contaminated and the potential costs to complete remediation and lingering technical and legal issues stalled any efforts to redevelop the site.
In 2007, GeoEngineers began working with the Port to determine how it could remediate the site and recover the costs associated with the project. The resulting initiative restored an undeveloped contaminated site, adding a new esplanade, shoreline habitat, dock and public amenities.
The project is part of the Port’s Focus Fidalgo environmental program, which takes an integrated approach to removing contaminants, restoring aquatic habitat and improving public facilities along the waterfront on five different sites on Port property. The Former Scott Paper Mill site was the largest of the Port’s Focus Fidalgo projects and the largest shoreline and sediment cleanup completed in Washington under the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) and Ecology’s Puget Sound Initiative.