Tribe to watch for artifacts at Port Angeles sewer overflow project

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Cultural monitors from the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe will be on the lookout for artifacts and archaeological remains when piping for Phase 1 of a combined sewer and stormwater overflow project is laid on the former Rayonier pulp mill site, part of which is over an ancient Klallam village.

The tribe's participation in the project is covered under a cultural monitoring services agreement between the city and the tribe that the City Council approved Tuesday when it also OK'd a $16.3 million contract with IMCO General Construction of Ferndale for Phase 1 of the city's $41.7 million project to keep raw sewage out of the harbor.

Under the agreement, the tribe will be reimbursed up to $100,000 for monitoring the project.

Tribal Chairwoman Frances Charles spoke briefly at the meeting.

“To have tribal monitors on the site of our homelands down there, we are more than honored and humbled,” she said.

Mayor Cherie Kidd said she, too, was pleased with the agreement.

“It's another way that we can work together, and I am very happy to see us working together on many projects.”

A city archaeological work plan for Phase 1 is required under a federal Memorandum of Agreement between the city, the Environmental Protection Agency, the state Department of Ecology, the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and the tribe.

“We've done exploratory work in conjunction with the tribe, and we feel we have a low-risk route for placement of the piping and ground-disturbing activities,” Public Works and Utilities Director Glenn Cutler said Friday.

“There is no guarantee that we will not find something archaeological, but we have spent significant effort to minimize us running into or discovering archaeological items in coordination with the tribe.”

The Rayonier parcel was the site of the Klallam village of Y'innis until the mid-1800s and contains Native American burial remains.

The tribe is a partner with the state Department of Ecology and Rayonier in the ongoing cleanup of the site.

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at

Last modified: August 12. 2012 6:22PM
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