Cleanup at marina will cost $1 million

EVERETT – Cleanup of toxic soils at the waterfront site of the $300 million Port Gardner Wharf project will cost more than $1 million, Port of Everett officials said Tuesday.

The cleanup is much more expensive than earlier thought, largely because the amount of waste and its toxic nature is much larger and more serious than expected.

“They didn’t think on the initial tests that it was going to be as contaminated as it is,” said port commissioner Don Hopkins. “We’ll have a backhoe out there digging and all of a sudden, they’ll come up with another spot.”

Landau Associates, the port’s environmental consultant, had initially said much of the contamination involved asbestos at such low enough levels that the areas could be capped with clean soil rather than sending it to a dump.

Port property manager Eric Russell said that ultimately there were 200 test holes and monitoring wells dug on the 65-acre property.

“We found a lot of interesting stuff out there,” he told port commissioners at their Tuesday meeting. “Some of it is contaminated soil that must be removed.”

An estimated 45,000 cubic yards of tainted dirt must be hauled away, Russell said. That’s enough to fill 4,500 dump trucks. Next week, port commissioners will be asked to approve a $373,100 contract for cleanup work. Another contract for $162,000 will target cleanup at the former American Construction site.

Port officials will also be asked to approve an estimated $600,000 in disposal fees for taking the dirt to a landfill for toxic material. As much as half of the 45,000 cubic yards may have to go to a such a disposal site, Russell said.

The area, soon-to-be-developed by a port partnership with Maritime Trust of Chicago, has been used by heavy industry since the founding of Everett, once called the city of smokestacks. Port director John Mohr, said the area had its share of chemical spills or had companies that dumped toxic materials on their sites.

Mohr said the cost revealed Tuesday may not be the final number.

“That assumes that we will not find anything else there,” he said. “We may find a place where someone dug a trench and threw in a few barrels.”

The costs disturbed Hopkins, who called them “just mindboggling.”

“Every time you try to do something for the good, there’s always an obstacle,” he said. “No matter how many projects we do, there always is something new.”

Mohr said the cleanup will make the property better.

“We’re definitely doing the right thing cleaning this up,” he said. “As we go forward and we are cleaning the site up we will develop a process where we can go in and make sure that our tenants are doing the things that need to be done so that this level of pollution won’t happen again.”

Herald writer Mike Benbow: 425-339-3459 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Retooling drug laws, protecting octopus and honoring a cactus

It’s already Day 26. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Arif Ghouseat flips through his work binder in his office conference room Paine Field on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Paine Field Airport director departing for Sea-Tac job

Arif Ghouse, who oversaw the launch of commercial air travel at Paine Field, is leaving after eight years.

Students make their way after school at Edmonds-Woodway High School on March 12, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
After Edmonds schools internet outage, staff ‘teaching like it’s the 1900s’

“Suspicious activities” on the district’s network delayed classes and caused schedule havoc. “Kids are using pencil and paper again.”

April Berg, left, and John Lovick
Snohomish County legislators talk race, policy in Seattle

Rep. April Berg and Sen. John Lovick chatted about Tyre Nichols and education at an event kicking off Black History Month.

Tala Davey-Wraight, 3, is thrown in the air by her dad Oscar Davey-Wraight, one of the Summer Meltdown headliners also known as Opiuo, during Cory Wong’s set on Thursday, July 28, 2022 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After Monroe debut, no Summer Meltdown music fest in 2023

Organizers announced Wednesday they would “take the year off in order to figure out the best path forward for Summer Meltdown in 2024.”

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
High winds in Everett, north Puget Sound expected Friday

Winds could top 40 mph in Everett — and likely higher farther north — causing power outages and tree damage.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Mountlake Terrace council taps planning commissioner for open seat

With five votes, Rory Paine-Donovan was affirmed to join the ranks of the Mountlake Terrace City Council.

Federal agents seized many pounds of meth and heroin, along with thousands of suspected fentanyl pills, at a 10-acre property east of Arlington in mid-December 2020. (U.S. Attorney’s Office) 20201223
Leader of Snohomish County fentanyl, meth ring gets federal prison

A search of Cesar Valdez-Sanudo’s property in Arlington unearthed kilos of drugs and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Karla Wislon holds a champagne glass while celebrating the closing sale of her home in Palm Springs, Ca. on May 14, 2021. (Family photo)
Former state Rep. Karla Wilson, 88, remembered as ‘smart, energetic’

Wilson served the 39th Legislative district from 1985 to 1991. She died Dec. 31.

Most Read