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Ecology responds to comments, signs new agreed order for Rayonier cleanup

OLYMPIA – After reviewing and considering the public’s input from a recent comment period, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has signed an agreed order that will lead to cleanup at the former Rayonier mill property in Port Angeles.

Ecology also released a document that responds to the more than 200 comments submitted by 34 citizens, businesses or government representatives during the comment period. The responsiveness summary can be found on Ecology’s Web site for the Rayonier cleanup:

“The work over the next three years will answer critical questions that allow cleanup and reuse of the Rayonier mill property,” explained Rebecca Lawson, Ecology’s regional toxics cleanup manager and lead for the Rayonier project. “This agreement has concrete tasks and timelines that lead us to a cleanup plan.”

The agreement calls on Rayonier to complete the investigation in the study area, which includes the mill property and 1,400 acres of sediments in Port Angeles harbor. Rayonier has a clear set of tasks to complete in the three-year schedule. The study area cleanup plan can’t be developed until the investigatory and feasibility work is done.

In late January 2010, Ecology and Rayonier announced agreement on the terms of the new legal order and Ecology held a public comment period from Feb. 1 to March 5, 2010.

Ecology was able to address the public’s feedback without changing the agreed order language and provides that information in the responsiveness summary. Print copies are available at the Port Angeles Library and Peninsula College Library as well as Ecology’s main office in Lacey.

Keep tabs on the Rayonier cleanup by following Ecology on Twitter ( and the ECOconnect blog (


Media Contact: Kim Schmanke, 360-407-6239 (desk)

-We’re still a long way from seeing cleanup really begin. – Editor…

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