Sunday, May 24, 2009

This is a huge energy drain

Well, readers - trying to combat malicious hacking is much more trouble than it is worth. Google and other sites do not take the time to verify malicious claims and frankly, I'm bored with the whole thing.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

An organization dedicated to the eradication of "badware" or suspected malware, in the same way Joseph McCarthy was dedicated to eradicating communisim from America. Doesn't matter if your guilty of wrong doing, all that matters is that you were accused wrong doing.

Harvard, you have some work to do if you want the stopbadware organization to be credible. First, you have an obligation to document that the sites you are listing actually contain "badware"

To list sites incorrectly -- is, well, defamatory...

(P.S. I'm fighting back)...

Here is Google's safe browsing message for GoodCounter (which I don't even use).


Yeah, we all know the drill!

Here's what google analytics said:

Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?
Over the past 90 days, did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites.

Has this site hosted malware?
No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Responsible Water Resource Management through Watershed Management Districts

People - no matter where they live, are the key to protecting natural resources

Successful management of water resources is dependent upon the people who live and work on the land.

Washingtonians have enjoyed an abundant supplies of clean, affordable water in a state that historically has enjoyed an abundance of water. But rapid population growth and temperature changes have created unforeseen supply challenges.

Our responsibility as citizens is to share our water supply and to use it carefully so there is enough water for farming, energy, recreation, fish and building the state's economy.

Those closest to the land, including landowners, farmers, local governments, special districts and the Washington State Department of Ecology have a responsibility to plan and manage surface and ground water resources efficiently.

Our state already has many successes on finding new and effective ways of managing water. One tool is Watershed Management Planning, with emphasis on careful management of individual drainage basins.

What is a Watershed Improvement District?

In 2003, the Bertrand Watershed Improvement District (WID) was formed as an irrigation district by votes proportionate to the number of acres owned.

The WID provides local organization of water management within the drainage basin. Parcels under 2.5 acres, tax exempt parcels and City of Lynden owned parcels were tax exempt.

The WID allows property owners and regulators to develop and fund projects that are designed to improve fish habitat, instream flows, irrigation efficiency and to address non-permitted surface and groundwater withdrawals. The result: a healthier watershed.

Who is involved in WIDs?

In addition to the Bertrand Creek Watershed Management District, the Nooksack Recovery Team (NRT), Whatcom County, The Whatcom Conservation District, the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and Lummi Natural Resources and the Nooksack Tribe are providing technical, funding and restoration activities in Bertrand and other watersheds.

How does one go about forming a Watershed Management District?

Here is a copy of the Whatcom County Resolution that was adopted to create the North Lynden Watershed Improvement District in 2007.
Whatcom County, WA Resolution No. 2007-054 North Lynden Watershed ...

For additional information about the Bertrand Watershed Improvement District, please visit

There are several excellent resource sites listed on the Internet and at the WRIA 1 website:

Comments welcome until May 28th to improve Government Transparency and participation


Yesterday was the biggest day for Government Transparency since Mike Klein and I started the Sunlight Foundation in 2006.

The new administration did two unprecedented things: 1. Launched - the first-ever catalog of federal data being made freely (and easily) available to citizens 2. Launched the Open Government Initiative and asked us for our best ideas in creating a more transparent, participatory government

One of President Obama's first acts when he took office was to commit his administration to the guiding principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration, and now they are calling on all of us to help shape that commitment - starting immediately.

The bad news is that our time frame is short - we only have till next Thursday, May 28, to submit our ideas for this first "brainstorming" phase of the initiative.

The good news: Sunlight has a great headstart. Months ago, we launched Our Open Government List (OOGL) and you responded in force with your ideas. So we got a little innovative. I've asked the folks in Sunlight Labs come up with a quick way to see your ideas from OOGL right next to the submission form on the page for the Open Government dialogue. Add your ideas and vote the best ones up or down on the Open Government

Dialogue form.

Now's our chance to get our ideas directly to people who can implement them. Let's not miss this.We'll continue to keep you up to date over the next few weeks as this exciting three step process unfolds. Thank you all for your invaluable contribution to this movement and for ensuring our government serves us the way that was always intended.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I will be taking a short sabbatical from Latte Republic to research and write a book.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Washington Coalition for Open Government calls for Nominations for James Anderson Award

Call For Nominations 2009

James Andersen Award:
Honoring an individual or organization that has done something extraordinary to advance the efforts of the Washington Coalition for Open Government.

Nomination form available onlie at:

Deadline for James Andersen Award nominations is June 30, 2009.

Save the Date:
The award ceremony will be held on Friday, September 18, 2009

For more information:
Phone: 206.782.0393

Western at the Waterfront -

Land locked Western Washington University (WWU) is seeking a future presence on Bellingham's Waterfront. As with most projects, funding is the key to success.

Background Information:

The 2007-09 state operating budget includes a number of notable Western funding requests, including $1 million to facilitate Western’s continuing waterfront planning and development efforts with the City of Bellingham and the Port of Bellingham.

Western's projected 10 year Capital Plan:

Western Washington University Proposed 2009-19 Ten-Year Capital Plan

The University has prepared a Slide presentation of Western's proposed development on Bellingham Waterfront:

Additional Background information:

Western Washington University Budget(s)

WWU 2007-2009 State Op Plan FY


DECISION PACKAGES 2006 (SupplemBudget)

Waterfront --

Border Policy Institute

Planng & Emerg Mgment Track

*2007-09 Operating Budget
Western has been allocated $148.5 million in state operating funds overall for the 2007-09 biennium, which is a nearly 20 percent increase over the current biennium.

*2009 - 2011 Operating Budget:

WSDOT Bellingham Rail Project Status Report

WSDOT Project Status Report:

Posted in April, 2009

WSDOT is working with the city and Port of Bellingham on this project. The cost estimate for relocating the main line along the preferred alignment identified in the study is $10.7 million, which is $5.7 million more than what is currently available for construction.

Site investigations performed during the study revealed evidence of possible ancient fishing activities near the proposed route of the relocated rail line. With approval from the federal government, the BNSF Railway, and local tribes, WSDOT and the city will perform more detailed site investigations in April 2009.

The 2008 Washington State Legislature moved the $5.0 million in state construction funds appropriated for this project from the current biennium to the 2009-2011 biennium. This action will allow local leaders and others to secure additional funds for the rail relocation and roadway improvement projects.

2009 -2011 biennium did not appropriate funds for this project.

WSDOT Overview of Burlington Northern Rail relocation project.

The city and Port of Bellingham intend to redevelop the former Georgia Pacific industrial site in downtown Bellingham for commercial, recreational, and residential uses. This effort is known as the Waterfront District Redevelopment Project. For more information, please go to Waterfront District Redevelopment Project page.

Why is WSDOT participating in the city of Bellingham's waterfront redevelopment project?

The waterfront restoration project includes removing a sharp curve in the BNSF Railway's main line track near the former Georgia Pacific site and relocating the railroad tracks further to the east.

The relocated tracks will allow passenger and freight trains moving through the area to travel at slightly higher speeds.

The End Result
WSDOT will relocate a section of the BNSF Railway main line track.

Project Benefits
The city and Port of Bellingham will have new waterfront land available for development

Trains on the BNSF Railway tracks can maintain higher speeds in the area.

What is the project timeline?

The project does not have enough funding to complete construction. As a result, the Washington State Legislature has moved the state's $5.0 million from the current biennium to the 2009-2011 biennium. If additional funds can be secured, the earliest the project could be completed is June 2011. (Funding was not secured).

Looking for additional information on the WSDOT rails project?

The waterfront restoration project includes removing a sharp curve at the site of a Georgia Pacific (GP) mill. When it is removed, passenger and freight trains will not have to slow down when traveling through the area and can maintain higher speeds. The city and Port of Bellingham will then have new waterfront land available for development.

How can I get more information?

Contact:Kirk Fredrickson
Project Manager
WSDOT State Rail and Marine Office
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407
Phone: 360.705.7939
E-mail: Kirk Fredrickson

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Bellingham Concerns" posts Video regarding Mayor Dan Pike's Promises regarding State and Federal Funding for the Bellingham Waterfront

I have posted a video of Mayor Pike and the Council discussing the hasty adoption of the Waterfront Framework Plan at the insistence of Mayor Pike to the right of this post.

Mayor Pike told council that council needed to act "now" if it wanted to preserve state and federal funding for the project.

The Reality:

The state budget reveals that there is no funding, nor was there any funding in the budget for the Mayor's Waterfront Project. (Moving the Burlington Northern Railroad tracks).

Additional research reveals that the Mayor's project was initially introduced in the 2004 budget.

The purpose of "moving the rails" project, as described by DOT, is to relocate the tracks closer to town so that trains can move faster through Bellingham.

In other words, this project is about increasing train speed, not increasing opportunities for Waterfront Redevelopment. Moving the tracks benefits Burlington Northern, who will be able to move more quickly through an area that is heavily populated. According to the DOT, we will have more trains moving through Bellingham as a result of this proposal.

A review of Federal Stimulus fund awards in Washington reveals that the neither the Port or the City of Bellingham is on the applicant list for federal Economic Stimulus Funds, despite the fact that there are numerous projects in Bellingham Bay that are excellent candidates for funding.

In other words, the Mayor stampeded council members into making a hasty decision by providing them with false assurances that funding was in the process of being approved at both the state and federal level.

The result: we have a Waterfront Framework plan that does not have adequate public input and has drawn criticism from the architects and members of the WAG (who was not consulted).

Not a very good start for Bellingham's Waterfront!

Link to Bellingham Concerns video:

City of Bellingham City Council Meeting Agendas, minutes and videos:

Proposed Grant and Loan Funding for Water Quality Improvement and Protection Projects, including Federal Stimulus Money

Governor's Recovery Funding website:

Dept of Ecology Funding:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Check out this Week's Cascadia Weekly

Tim Johnson has written an excellent article about waterfront redevelopment. You can find the article on page 8. It's titled, "Eve of Destruction."

This week's Gristle is also good!

Thanks Tim!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Proposed Grant and Loan Funding for Water Quality Improvement and Protection Projects, including Federal Stimulus Money

To assist in efforts to implement the U.S. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Washington Department of Ecology has reopened its application cycle for the Washington State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund.

The lists are for the Centennial Clean Water Program, the federal Clean Water Act, Section 319 (Non-Point Source Fund) and the Washington State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, including recovery funds for FY 2010.

Ecology hosted a public meeting on April 24th at the Pierce County Library.

DOE is accepting public comments from April 17, 2009 through 5 pm, May 1, 2009.

Comments should be sent to Jeff Nejedly, DOE Water Quality Program or Fax: (360) 407-7151.

Congratulations to Whatcom County for proposing the following projects!

$184,524 Upper Silver Beach Creek Comprehensive Water Quality Improvement Project

$213,106 Whatcom County Water Quality Improvement Loan

$250,000 Whatcom Conservation District - Best Management Practices for Water Quality planning and cost sharing

Additional Information

Recommended Water Project List

Washington Recovery web site

Unfortunately, the City of Bellingham and Port of Bellingham are not on the list.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Waterfront Funding?

This morning, the Washington State Legislature adjourned having completed its scheduled 105 day legislative session.

What happened with waterfront funding? It's not in this year's state budget.

However, the 2009-11 conference committee transportation document included a recommendation to modify the Burlington Northern railroad track on the Georgia Pacific site.

Initially, (2004) the project was proposed because trains must slow down at a sharp curve on the existing line at the Georgia Pacific plant.

The initial proposed project scope states the project will make minor modifications to the track in order to allow for a faster passenger train speed.

The preliminary engineering phase began on 7/1/2004. The end date was 6/30/2005.

The current project scope reads: the mainline of BNSF Railway track currently runs through a sharp curve at a Georgia Pacific plant. This project will relocate a 3/4 mile section of the track. This will allow the site to be redeveloped for recreational, residential and commercial uses.

It appears that this is a classic example of political spin.

To start, the project is proposed to increase the speed of trains through Bellingham. Then, the City and Port want to locate 3,000 people on the Waterfront and all of a sudden, the rail modification will enhance property values and allow recreational, residential and commercial development.

The end result is the same. We have trains moving faster through Bellingham population zones.

I'm not sure how this project increases our quality of life...but I bet Burlington Northern is supporting it!

Prior expenditures

Before 2007 ---$47 thousand

2007-2009 --- $448 thousand

2009 -2011--- $0

2011- 2013 ---$0

2013 -2015 ---$5 million

Total $5,495 million

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Toxic Contamination --- A Ticking Time Bomb across this Nation

March 3, 2008: The Washington Post printed an article by Governor Christine Gregoire and Senator Maria Cantwell.

Apparently, some elected officials are conscientious enough to read toxicity reports and grasp the concept that toxic waste is a serious public health hazard.

Here's a link to the article.

A Toxic Time Bomb in the Northwest Buried in President Bush's proposed budget for next year is a story of broken promises. It's a story that puts our nation's honor -- and our environment, economy and families -- on the line.


If the City and Port partnership need money for the waterfront - clean it up.

Federal and state economic stimulus dollars will not be spent to develop paved over toxic waste dumps.

A broken thermometer on the floor of a classroom requires a Haz Mat Team to clean it up -- and the Port and City want to put hundreds of people on a property that has a minimum of 12 tons of mercury buried on it?

Across this nation, from New Jersey to the state of Washington, local governments and emergency response personnel are discovering that neglected toxic waste is a public health hazard.

Elizabeth New Jersey's story:,9171,948856,00.html

The residents of this city should demand that the City and Port set up a trust fund to pay for future clean up projects.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) for GP and other Bellingham Industries

There is nothing glamorous about EPA Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reports.

Nevertheless, it is important for a community to know about toxic contamination that is/was released into the air, water and land where our children attend school and where we all live, work and play, regardless of social class distinctions, income or education.

Over the years, Georgia Pacific (West) released tons of toxic contaminants when it manufactured pulp and other products at the Bellingham facility.

Perhaps a talented Huxley student will take the data provided below and insert it into a single spread sheet so the public (and our elected officials) can tabulate the total toxic releases from 1988 on.

The EPA reports toxic chemical releases in pounds unless otherwise stated. Dioxin and Dioxin compounds are reported in grams.

According to the Department of Ecology, the Port of Bellingham has not completed a full inventory of the Georgia Pacific site or compiled a complete list of the toxic chemicals buried on the former G.P. site.

To date, we know that there is 12 tons of mercury buried on the site at a place called the Chemfix.

Please note that Georgia Pacific did not report Dioxin or Dioxin compound releases generated from the pulp process - since the amount of dioxin and dioxin like compounds are/were considered a "trade secret." Hence, dioxin releases into the ground, air and water were not reported. However, the reports do acknowledge dioxin and dioxin compound releases from Oeser Company.

It has been estimated that 3 ounces of Dioxin can kill in excess of a million people.

EPA tutorial (How to use the site and information posted on the site):

*The electronic EPA TRI files for Georiga Pacific in Bellingham begin in 1988 - please note the Chlorine (Chlor Alkali) Plant began operations in 1965.

EPA TRI Explorer Reports - TRI # 98225GRGPC300WL

1988 -


1990 -



1993 -













2006 -


Friday, April 24, 2009

Georgia Pacific West Upland Cleanup

Breaking news: The Georgia Pacific West site and a notice of the Agreed Order negotiations for remediation and cleanup will be in the next issue of the Department of Ecology Site Register. The document will be available for public review in June.

Ecology acknowledged in an e-mail that the former G.P. site has not been fully investigated nor remediated.

On April 13 and again on April 20, 2009, the Mayor told council and members of the public that it was urgent for the council to adopt the Framework Plan in order to ensure that state and federal funding for the partnership between the Port and City remains intact.

But a call to the Governor's office reveals that funding to move the railroad tracks on the waterfront was not restored by Mayor Pike, as allegedly claimed earlier in the month, nor is the railroad project currently included in the state Budget.

Nor is there any confirmation that Washington's federal delegation has made any financial commitments to the City or Port.

Why the urgency?

What's going on?

Puget Sound Stormwater Map shows enormity of Stormwater Problem

UW GIS students produced a map of all the public storm drains carrying pollutants into Puget Sound.

"This map shows the enormity of the stormwater problem which impacts most of Puget Sound," said Bruce Wilshart, Policy Director for People for Puget Sound. "It demonstrates that we need significant funding to address the problem."

The new GIS map can be downloaded at the People for Puget Sound website:

Stormwater related pollutants and stressors havee been identified by scientists as the most important water quality problem in the Puget Sound Basin.

Thank you, People for Puget Sound!


Corporate, Governmental and Fatal Error?

In 1977, The Washington State Department of Ecology documented that 12 tons of mercury are buried in a landfill at Georgia Pacific's Chemfix site.

The Chemfix project was carried out without notification to the Department of Ecology, as a means of disposing approximately 1,500,000 gallons of mixed liquid and solid wastes that had accumulated in a storage pond of the Chlorine Plant. With a mercury concentration of about 0.17 percent, the 7,000 ton sludge deposit contains approximately 12 tons of mercury.

Meanwhile, local government is rushing forward to plan street grids and master plans without the slightest regard for the health hazards buried at the site. On April 13th, the Mayor informed the city that state and elected officials are partnering with the City and ready to commit funds to develop the site.

On Monday, April 20th, the Port of Bellingham and the City voted to accept a framework plan for the Bellingham Waterfront that includes the beginnings of a street grid configuration and other assumptions for the waterfront master plan.

No public comment was allowed.

The respective councils decided that they can solicit public input later.

The decision to adopt a master plan can only be reversed by a vote of both councils.

It is unthinkable that our local elected officials are rushing forward to spend millions of tax dollars to develop a site that is indisputably an agency documented landfill for deadly chemicals without so much as the benefit of a public discussion of the health hazards associated with developing the property.

Neither the Port or the City has indicated that they are willing to clean the site to residential standards. Yet, they propose locating WWU and residential buildings on the site.

More frightening, the Port's purchase and sales agreement prohibits Georgia Pacific from discussing potential or existing contamination that is on the property.

Apparently, Bellingham is comprised of residents who have been conditioned not to fear large toxic chemical dumps that present potential adverse health effects to the community.

Granted, the renovation of abandoned industrial sites can help communities reclaim property that would otherwise be unproductive. But the desire to "rush forth and develop" without the benefit of adequate studies does nothing to protect citizens from contamination.

Sadly, what follows will be a series of follies by local government that will threaten the health of thousands of students, residents and workers.

The City will have to penetrate existing caps in order to construct roads, stormwater sewers and drains, and to drill (set) deep pilings in order to protect structures from potential liquefaction during an earth quake.

In New York, the cost of the Love Canal waste dump is still being documented.

Many of the long term health effects due to exposure to the chemicals buried on the site are not yet known.

People say that there is a silver lining in every dark cloud. If any good came out of Love Canal, it is a public and governmental awareness that America has a serious toxic waste problem.

But it remains to be seen if Bellinghamsters have learned anything from the horrors that took place at chemical dumps like Love Canal.

The genetic mutations and birth defects will survive indefinitely, the legend will live on in history and public policy books, but who knows how long the lesson will be remembered?

In the end, the Hooker Chemical Company, despite its many warnings to the community about the hazards of development, paid for the bulk of the remediation.

And still, the citizens of Bellingham do not fear the adverse health effects of toxic chemicals and heavy metals.

A dark shadow is cast over this town.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Issues surrounding clean up of the former G.P. Site

1) According to DOE, Georgia Pacific drafted the 1994 RI/FS without Ecology oversight. In the Phase II Proposed Agreed Order, Ecology proposes to use Georgia Pacific's 1994 RI/FS, with the Department of Ecology's review.

Under the proposed Agreed Order, Ecology will release G.P. from liability for specific contaminants that may be subsequently discovered at the chlor-alkali plant site.

Why would the Department of Ecology enter into an agreement to release the potential liable party from cleanup responsibility for contamination it created?

2) The Port and Ecology are seeking approval to dump a portion of dredged materials from the Whatcom Waterway at the Bellingham Bay or Rosario Open Water Disposal Site.

Materials dumped at open water disposal sites are not controlled or contained. A better choice would be an approved upland toxic waste dump or a Confined Aquatic Disposal site that can be tested and monitored.

3) Across the nation, Brownfield re-development studies have demonstrated that it is very difficult for agencies and potentially liable parties to adequately assess site contamination.

What may initially appear to be a straight forward cleanup may under calculate the amount of contamination, resulting in higher cleanup costs.

Higher clean up costs can result in project delays and increased construction costs.

4) The greatest challenge for the assessing the level of contamination on the G.P. uplands is determining the actual amount of soil contamination; as levels of contamination are not uniform throughout the site.

We already know that 12 tons of mercury is buried in the Chemfix. Hence, we need to determine how much more mercury and other hazardous chemicals are hidden in the soil and groundwater; and, what health hazards they may represent to college students, workers, and proposed residents on the site?

The DOE has this site listed as a "5" on a scale of "1 to 5," with "5" being a low hazard site. I'd love to hear the state's explanation for the low rating on a site that contains at the minimum, 12 tons of mercury!

5) Traditionally, real estate market conditions play an integral role in the dynamics of the sales agreement. In hot markets, the seller is at an advantage.

This advantage, according to a 2009 DOE study, often extends to erasing clean up liability, even if the seller is the party that contributed to the contamination. (No wonder the Port doesn't support public ownership). They don't want to be liable for future claims or clean up costs!

It appears that the Port of Bellingham intends to sell the property "as is" and require indemnification from the buyer. Not only does this create a disadvantage for potential buyers, it can also create a public health hazard for members of the community who will be working or living in an environment while clean up and development takes place over the next 20 to 30 years.

When markets slow, some sellers will take some responsibility for cleanup but many others will sit on their site until market conditions improve again.

I would like this project to be successful. But successful redevelopment depends on responsible governing and clean up.

The City and Port have indicated that they are willing to invest up to $250 million in public infrastructure development for this site. I wonder, are they willing to invest half that amount in clean up? How about a quarter of that amount?

2009 WA Department of Ecology Study on Brownfield reclamation and re-development:

Georgia Pacific West Corporation Chlor-Alkali Plant Cleanup

Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study - Phase Two Proposed Agreed Order
(TCP Pub # 02-09-048)

The state of Washington Department of Ecology and the Georgia Pacific Corporation have proposed, under terms of the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA Chapter 70.105D RCW), to enter into an agreed order. An Agreed Order is a legal document formalizing an agreement between Ecology and potentially liable persons (PLP's), to ensure that the proposed cleanup activities are conducted according to methods and standards prescribed under MTCA and other applicable laws and regulations.

Under the proposed Agreed Order, the corporation would conduct a remedial investigation and a clean up feasibility study on the chlor-alkali plant area at the pulp and paper mill complex in Bellingham. After satisfactory completion of the clean up, Ecology would release the corporation from liability for specific contaminants that may subseqently be discovered at the chlor-alkali plant site.

Ecology invites you to evaluate the proposed Agreed Order. We welcome your comments about the proposal through September 13, 2002. The box at the right lists where to read a copy of the draft agreed order, as well as where to submit written or spoken comments.

Site Background

In 1965, Georgia Pacific built a chlor alkali plant in the Bellingham Washington pulp and paper mill. The plant's function was to produce chlorine and sodium hydroxide (caustic) for use in bleaching and pulping wood fiber.

Process description

Chlorine and caustic were produced at the plant using the DeNora mercury cell process. Chlorine gas was generated electrolytically from a saturated solution of sodium chloride (brine). The mercury cells were rectangular steel troughs having a slight downward slope. Mercury flowed through the closed loop cell and decomposer, producing chlorine and caustic. The mercury and brine NaCI flowed parallel through the cell (the brine floated on top of the mercury). In each cell, the mercury acted as a flowing cathode, while the anodes consisted of titanium metal.

Chlorine evolved at the anodes and was extracted from the cell as a gas. As the chlorine evolved from the brine, sodium amalgamated with the mercury, leaving the cell and traveling to a decomposer. Having passed through the cell, the brine was stripped of any residual chlorine and returned to the brine saturator to be restarted with salt.

The mecury/sodium amalgam was continuously treated in the decomposer. In the decomposer the mercury acted as an anode, liberating sodium which reacted with water to form sodium hydroxide (caustic). Hydrogent gas was liberated at the cathode. The mercury was then pumped back into the cell to repeat the process. At the inlet and outlet ends of the cells the mercury was covered with a water bath to prevent volatilization at these points. The entire cell was kept at a negative pressure to prevent the loss of chlorine gas.

Page 2

Plant Closure and Cleanup

Georgia Pacific West Corporation closed the chlor alkalki plant during the summer of 1999. Planned remediation of the plant site was to occur in two phases. The first phase was conducted under an Ecology Agreed Order (DE TC99 1035) governing the shut down, decommissioning, and demolition of the the plants' processing machinery and building. That Phase of the project is complete.

The current proposed Agreed Order, phase two, will be used to direct a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS). The RI/FS will include sampling and testing of the soils and ground water on the site to identify the types and extent of contamination. The feasibility study will consider an array of containment and treatment methods and determine the best cleanup scenario for the property.

What will be done in Phase II?

In 1994 Georgia Pacific Corporation submitted an Independent Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) for the chlor-alkali plant site. The 1994 RI/FS was completed without Ecology review and input. The phase two proposed Agreed Order would have Ecology review and would require Georgia Pacific to take the following actions at the plant site to complete the 1994 RI/FS:

Submit, within 45 days, a sampling plan that completes characterization of the site. After Ecology approval, complete sampling and use final soil and groundwater analysis to determine both the area and vertical extent of mercury contamination in soil at the site.

Submit, within 45 days, a sampling plan that initiates further investigation of the Chemfix mercury sludge disposal area (12 tons of mercury).

Develop a sampling and testing protocol to determine whether mercury could leach from the solidified Chemfix sludge. Use the new protocol to sample the Chemfix sludge. Report sampling results.

Submit, within six months of the completion of the sampling programs and Ecology's approval of the results, a proposed feasibility study to finish the cleanup of the site.

What will happen next?

Ecology will consider all public comment about this proposed Agreed Order that is received during the formal comment period, and respond in a written and published report called a "Responsiveness Summary". If necessary, based upon the comments received, Ecology may modify the Agreed Order before issuing it. The work required in the Agreed Order should be completed in approximately nine months.

Final cleanup of the site will occur after Georgia Pacific submits a remedial investigation and feasibility study that Ecology can approve; and the parties draft and sign a consent decree. An additional formal public comment opportunity will occur after the Agreed Order for the RI/FS has been satisfied and before Ecology issues the Consent Decree for final cleanup.

The comment period on the proposed Agreed Order expired on September 13, 2002.

Interested parties may arrange to see the file of supporting documents that informed the drafting of this proposed Agreed Order by contacting Paul Skyllingstad at Ecology's headquarters building in Lacy, (360) 407-6949.

Original document:

Clean up schedule:

WA Department of Ecology Study on Brownfield reclamation and re-development:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Georgia Pacific West Corporation Chlor Alkali Plant Cleanup

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD: 8/15/02 - 9/16/02 ===================================================

Phase II Agreed Order to Conduct Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study Proposed and Available for Public Review & Comment - Georgia Pacific Corp Chlor-Alkali Plant, Facility Site ID No. 14, located at 300 W. Laurel St., Bellingham, 98225, Whatcom County

Ecology and Georgia-Pacific Corporation are proposing a Phase II Agreed Order to conduct a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study at the Georgia Pacific Corp Chlor-Alkali Plant site.

Phase I of the cleanup involved closing, decommissioning, and demolishing the plant's processing machinery and building. The site is ranked a "5" on Ecology's Hazardous Sites List (a rank of "1" is the highest assessed risk compared to other sites on the list, and a "5" is the lowest).

From 1965 to 1999, Georgia-Pacific operated a chlor-alkali plant on the property that used mercury and brine to produce chlorine and sodium hydroxide (these products were used to bleach and pulp wood fiber). In the process, mercury leaked or spilled and contaminated the site site's soil, sediments, and ground water.

The purpose of a Remedial Investigation is to determine the nature and extent of the contamination. With this information, cleanup options are evaluated and presented in a Feasibility Study report.

In 1994, Georgia-Pacific completed an independent Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (without Ecology oversight or approval). The Phase II Agreed Order proposes Ecology review this report and Georgia-Pacific take the following actions:

Submit a soil and ground water sampling plan.

Submit a sampling plan of the Chemfix mercury sludge disposal area (Chemfix is a solidification/stabilization treatment process).

Develop sampling and testing protocol to determine if mercury could leach from the solidified sludge area.

Within six months of completion of the sampling programs and Ecology's approval of results, submit a Feasibility Study to Ecology.

Public Meeting: A public meeting to discuss the RI/FS will be held on September 5, 7:00 p.m., at Whatcom Community College, Heiner Auditorium, 237 W. Kellogg Road, Bellingham.

The proposed Agreed Order is available for review at the following locations:

Department of Ecology, Bellingham Field Office, 1204 Railroad, Suite 200, Bellingham

Department of Ecology, 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey, (360) 407-6916

Department of Ecology, Northwest Regional Office, 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue;%20charset=iso-8859-1

In the matter of compliance by Georgia Pacific Corporation

Who's afraid of 12 tons of mercury buried in close proximity to proposed schools, retail office space and condos? Certainly not the people who live and work in Bellingham!


Department of Ecology

IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLIANCE BY GEORGIA PACIFIC CORPORATION with Chapter 90.48 RCW and the Rules and Regulations of the Department of Ecology

To: Georgia Pacific Corporation:

Order Docket # DE 77-336

Mercury contaminated chemfix sludge material was deposited by the Georgia Pacific Corporation during July 1976 in a landfill improvised on the woodyard of their pulp mill in Bellingham.

The chemfix project was carried out, without notification to the Department of Ecology, as a means of disposing of approximately 1,5000,000 gallons of mixed liquid and solid wastes that had accumulated in a storage pond of the Chlorine Plant. With a mercury concentration of about 0.17 percent, the 7,000 ton sludge deposit contains approximately 12 tons of mercury.

Order docket No. DE 77-168 was issued by the Department of Ecology on March 2, 1977, requesting information from Georgia Pacific on measures taken to prevent mercury pollution of state waters from the sludge deposit. The Georgia Pacific response, dated April 5, 1977, to Docket No. DE 77-168 stated that the sludge deposit was on a fill site constructed behind an impervious dike in accordance with Army Corps of Engineers Permit No. 071-OYB-1-001695. A review of this permit shows that the dike is described as an earthen berm comprised of upland fill material, with no statement regarding dike permeability, and no statement regarding utilization of the fill project as a disposal site for mercury wastes.

In consideration of the above information, it is determined by the Department of Ecology that additional measures are required to insure that the chemfix sludge material or leachates from the material do not enter state waters.

RCW 90.48.120 reads in part: Whenever the Department deems immediate action is necessary to accomplish the purpose of Chapter 90.48 RCW, it may issue such order or directive, as appropriate under the circumstances.

In view of the foregoing and in accordance with the provisions of RCW 90.48.120(2):

IT IS ORDERED THAT Georgia-Pacific Corporation shall, upon receipt of this Order, take appropriate action not later than October 31, 1977 either transport the chemfix sludge deposit to a disposal site acceptable to teh Department of Ecology, such as the site operated by Chem-Nuclear Systems, Inc. near Arlington, Oregon, or construct and maintain an impervious covering over the chemfix sludge deposit in accordance with teh following requirements:

1. Submit engineering plans for the project, including a legal description of the property occupied by the chemfix sludge deposit, to the Department of Ecology for approval by July 31, 1977. The covering shall be constructed of either asphalt or concrete pavement. If asphalt is used, the surface over the chemfix deposit, including a 10 -foot border extension on all sides, shall be covered with an impervious plastic liner overlaid with sand prior to paving. The asphalt pavement shall extend at least 20 feet beyond the sludge deposit on the side toward the log pond and shall extend to join with existing paved surfaces on the other three sides. If concrete is used, either the surface area described above shall be paved or the surface over the chemfix deposit, including a 10-foot border extension on all sides, shall be paved and joined to a concrete footing wall constructed around the deposit to a depth of six feet.

2. The completed project shall be continually maintained as required to retain the impervious condition of the covering. No future project involving excavation or degradion of the covering shall be undertaken without written approval of the Department of Ecology.

Dated at Olympia, Washington, this (28th) day of June, 1977.


Donald O Provosot
Assistant Director of Ecology

Comparisons to other well-known conatmination sites:

ABC News - Love Canal's Lethal Legacy:

New York State Dept of Health reports:

Presenters discuss securing and preserving the public's legal right to access records

The Washington Coalition for Open Government and the League of Women Voters of Kittitas Valley will present a special program focusing on Washington’s Public Records and Open Meetings laws from 6:30 to 8:30 PM on Wednesday, April 22 at the Hal Holmes Community Center, 209 N. Ruby Street in Ellensburg.

A panel of expert presenters will fuel the discussion on securing and preserving the public’s legal right to access the records and proceedings of the government agencies created to serve the people of the state. The panelists include: former State Representative Toby Nixon, Assistant State Attorney General Tim Ford, former Director of the Public Disclosure Commission Graham Johnson, and Cynthia Mitchell, Central Washington University professor of Communications. Todd Schaefer, head of the Political Science Department at CWU will moderate the discussion.

The forum is free and open to all, and questions and comments from the audience are welcome. This civic event is sponsored by the Daily Record.

The Washington Coalition for Open Government is a statewide non-partisan, non profit group of individuals and organizations dedicated to strengthening and preserving the public’s right to know what its government is doing. The Coalition has presented a series of similar programs around the state to educate the citizens of Washington on their rights of access.

For more information, contact the Washington Coalition for Open Government, 6351 Seaview Av NW, Seattle, WA 98107-2664, phone 206.782.0393 or by email at

Monday, April 20, 2009

House keeping questions

An anonymous visitor asked me if I have the ability to track commenter's postings and visits.

Yes, I recently subscribed to a service that keeps track of the IP numbers, etc. of all of the visitors and commenter's on Latte Republic.

Like the Bellingham Herald, I believe it is important to protect the identity of my visitors and commenter's. But it would be wrong to say that I do not have the ability to identify them.

Not everyone is capable of separating themselves personally from issues, as was demonstrated on Saturday when a man attempted to forcibly prevent my son from leaving our house to go to work.

If you disagree with me and want to say so personally - I suggest you communicate your concerns to me, via e-mail, not through my children.

I'm not that hard to get a hold of. Just post a comment in the comment section.

And, who ever it was who tried to stop my son - he now has a cell phone with a camera and he will take your picture and call the Bellingham Police if you attempt to assault him again