The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Old sewer lagoons targeted for marina dredge spoils


December 10, 2015

Wahkiakum County Port 1 commissioners, who are preparing to dredge the marina and the neighboring channel next year, find themselves stalled in the permit process while they wait to hear if the Town of Cathlamet will allow them to place their dredge spoils in the empty sewage lagoons nearby.

A piece of the property belongs to the port, while the rest belongs to the town.

Maul, Foster and Alongi, a Portland environmental engineering and consulting firm hired by Port 1 to oversee the dredging process, met with port commissioners and a representative from the town, Duncan Cruickshank, last Friday, December 4.

According to MFA’s Project Engineer, Josh Elliott, sediment testing has been completed.

“They looked pretty clean,” Elliott said. “The Army Corps of Engineers has asked for one sample to be reanalyzed but we don’t expect anything will come out of it.”

Elliott estimates that 25,000 cubic yards of material will be removed from the two areas they plan to dredge.

“The question is, what do we want to do with the material?” Elliott asked. “If we really want to dispose of it in water, I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t do that but there’s been an opportunity expressed to maybe use that material in these lagoons.”

“I talked to the Department of Ecology to make sure it was okay with them and they in turn talked to the Army Corps of Engineers, who had some questions,” Cruickshank said. “Ecology seemed more concerned that if it was eligible to be dumped in the river, that it’s not solid waste and it would be okay to dump on the land.”

James Maul, President and Principal Hydrogeologist with MFA assured the group that the material met the criteria for water disposal, which was more stringent than criteria to place the material on land.

“I don’t think the Town has actually discussed or approved filling the lagoons yet,” Cruickshank said.

Maul offered to give a presentation to the Town of Cathlamet.

“There’s the potential for creating more usable land there,” Maul said.

“We want to have a conversation because we want to talk about what we can do if they don’t let us dump there” Port Manager Jackie Lea said.

Commissioner Bob Kizziar agreed.

“We have to start looking at options,” he said. “I have every hope and desire that the city comes forward with what they would like to have happen and that it’s compatible.”

“There is no downside if we can go there,” Commissioner Scott Anderson added.

“The first step is to get an agreement that the city is fine with using the sewage lagoons for the fill and the next step is what that is going to look like,” Maul said. “It doesn’t make any sense to start working on property you don’t own.”


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