Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Port of Everett Could Buy Former Mill Site

The Port of Everett is reportedly exploring whether to buy a 66-acre site that formerly housed a waterfront paper mill and is known to have dangerous levels of contaminants in the soil.

The mill, which closed in April, was operated by tissue manufacturer Kimberly-Clark. The mill is considered attractive to the port for many reasons, among them being that it’s located on a large, industrial tract that has access to a deep-water channel on Puget Sound, as well as a railroad and a dedicated water supply pipeline.

Everett, which is located 25 miles north of Seattle on the Puget Sound, operates eight berths situated on about 100 acres of land, plus a bulk unloading facility, multi-purpose warehouse and is served by BNSF Railway.

Everett’s South Terminal, which includes a 75-foot wharf and is dredged to minus-40 feet MLLW, is just south of the mill site. The port could use the property to expand shipping operations, a port spokesman said. Among the obstacles, he said, would be financing the purchase and the cost to cleaning up the property, which has seen decades of pollution on the land and in underlying sediment.

Unsafe levels of petroleum, dioxins and other unsafe substances have been previously found in the waterway next to the plant.