Plans to clean up K-C mill site reached EVERETT - The public this month can get involved in learning how Kimberly-Clark will clean up the mill site.
Kimberly-Clark and the Department of Ecology reached an agreement on cleaning up the land last month. The order doesn’t tackle the East Waterway, a large body of water Ecology also identified as requiring clean up.
The public will have a chance to comment on the cleanup process starting this week. The comment period runs through Wednesday, Nov. 14.
There will be an open house on the cleanup agreement Monday, Oct. 29 that starts at 6 p.m. at the Snohomish County Public Utility District headquarters at 2320 California St. in Everett. There will be a presentation and a question-and-answer period at 6:30 p.m.
Ecology also will mail out a fact sheet to the community soon.
The cleanup will take three to five years to complete. Ecology is working expediently to meet that schedule, said Tim Nord, who handles land cleanup projects for Ecology.
“Fortunately, what we expected to see is what we saw,” Nord said. “It looks pretty good right now.”
The agreement says “if we see a problem, let’s fix it now,” Nord said.
The work will not stop a new buyer from building on the property, he said. A development moratorium set by the City Council earlier this year is expected to end next February.
The groundwater in the uplands area is contaminated with petroleum-based chemicals.
Ecology is requiring Kimberly-Clark to clean up the land enough for another industrial use to build there. Residential units wouldn’t be allowed on the property. The city isn’t interested in residential development on the site.
Ecology isn’t ready to tackle the East Waterway yet. Kimberly-Clark likely will be responsible for cleaning up the East Waterway, but the Port of Everett, U.S. Navy and the city also may be named as responsible parties for this expensive and arduous cleanup.
Ecology consciously made the decision to work on the uplands to keep pace with the three-to-five year timeline, Nord said.
Ecology found contamination in the bed of the waterway and wood debris found to be toxic to wildlife. Kimberly-Clark used the waterway for shipping wood shavings and wood chips called hog fuel.
Kimberly-Clark aims “to leave behind a clean and clear site,” Kimberly-Clark energy and environmental attorney Howard Sharfstein said last week when the cleanup agreement was presented to the City Council. Central Waterfront Planning Area
The next public meeting on the Central Waterfront Planning Area is scheduled before the planning commission Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Weyerhaeuser Room of Everett Station.
This area includes the Kimberly-Clark site.
The meeting includes a public comment period on the hybrid zoning alternative the planning commission had asked the city to develop. The city proposed four development alternatives.
The city is set to release a report detailing the hybrid zoning alternative this week on its website. Search www.ci.everett.wa.us for the Central Waterfront Planning Area page.
The commission may vote on a development alternative at its Oct. 23 meeting.