Lead-contaminated soil found at Elwha Dam site
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There’s little Elwha Dam left at the site where it had stood for 99 years, but lead has been found in the soil. This image was captured Sunday from the webcam pointed at the work location. See real-time work at the two dam removal sites at http://tinyurl.com/pdndams.

By Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The National Park Service is working on a plan to remove lead-contaminated soil from the Elwha Dam site.

Lead paint used on the dam’s penstocks, now removed, contaminated the soil on the north slope of the hill between the two channels of the Elwha River.

It’s unclear how much soil will have to be removed or when the work will take place, Olympic National Park spokeswoman Barb Maynes said.

Park Service archaeologists will watch the work closely since the area is believed to be the location of a former Klallam hunting camp, Maynes said.

In 2008, archaeologists hired by the park found a large concentration of basalt flakes, made when hunters chiseled the rock to make arrow heads and spear points.

The flakes were found between 2 and 5 feet below the surface, said Bill White, Lower Elwha Klallam tribal archaeologist.

No other artifacts were found, he said.

Maynes said archaeologists are monitoring all excavating work at the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams, which are being demolished as part of a $325 million river restoration project.

The Lower Elwha Klallam tribe will sign off on the work, White said.



Click here to see real-time images of the dam removals: http://tinyurl.com/pdndams.

Last modified: February 05. 2012 6:27PM
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