Former Rayonier site cleanup changes applauded

PORT ANGELES — The state Department of Ecology’s revitalization of the Rayonier cleanup project was applauded by those who have followed the project during its eight years of existence.

“All I can do is hope, but I have faith. This is a biggie,” said Darlene Schanfald of the Olympic Environmental Council.

“Having the solid waste section in charge of the cleanup never made any sense.

“It’s been eight years of lost opportunity.

“Once the governor made it a priority [as part of her initiative to clean up Puget Sound], that made the difference.”

Schanfald said Jim Pendowski, Ecology’s toxics cleanup manager, told her in June that the Rayonier site and Port Angeles Harbor were now No. 2 on the state’s priority list.

No. 1 is the cleanup of Budd Inlet near Olympia.

Larry Dunn, cleanup coordinator for the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, said that the tribe is supportive of Ecology’s transferring the project to its toxics cleanup section.

“They are moving. They are not wasting their time. They are trying to get the job done.

“Up to now, it’s been just a process not a cleanup.

“This is what [Ecology’s toxics cleanup section] does.

“They are taking control and running it like they run a cleanup.”

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