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Environment
Brownfields cleanup project resumes in Port Orchard

Housing Kitsap, formerly known as the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority (KCCHA) will resume cleanup work on the Mitchell Avenue Phase II Site located at 980 Mitchell Avenue, near the intersection of Mitchell Avenue and Mile Hill Drive.

The one-acre property is bordered by the Mitchell Avenue Phase I Site on the north, which contains senior housing. In 1999, the City Council passed a resolution which targeted the site to provide affordable housing opportunities for low-income seniors.

In late 2005 a Phase II ESA investigation of the site was completed using funds from a $55,000 EPA Assessment grant. The purpose of the Phase II ESA was to define the extent of soil and groundwater contamination for KCCHA to identify the rationale for field activities, the site conditions and previous investigations, the project organization and projected schedule for completion of work, and Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP).

KCCHA received a $173,104 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2007 to remove sources of surface and subsurface contamination where a garage formerly used by the Port Orchard Fire Department was located.

In March 2010 Kennedy/Jenks Consultants updated sections of the Phase II ESA including site sampling. RV & Associates conducted excavation and offsite disposal of approximately 1,263 tons of contaminated soil material. Confirmation sampling of soil samples collected in November and December 2009 indicate that petroleum hydrocarbon, total carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (cPAH), and benzene concentrations above MTCA Method A soil cleanup levels remain onsite at two locations.

The cleanup cots exceeded original estimates and the project could not proceed due to lack of funds after EPA grant money was exhausted. Site activities were halted earlier this year. Kathleen Byrne-Barrantes of Grant-Solutions worked with the KCCHA to locate alternate funds.

On Aug. 17, the Washington State Department of Commerce (Commerce) determined that because the property is contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons above MTCA cleanup levels, the site is eligible to receive up to $150,000 in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Brownfields grant funds to complete the cleanup.

“Housing Kitsap is looking forward to completing this cleanup effort and producing a clean site, we would not be able to accomplish this without the collaborated efforts and help of the EPA, Department of Commerce, Department of Ecology, the City of Port Orchard, Kathleen and Grant-Solutions,” said Casey Pleskun, KCCHA’s Project Director.

The Brownfields Cleanup Fund is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Washington State Department of Ecology, and Coalition partners. The Department of Ecology provides programmatic and financial support, as well as technical review of the cleanup projects.

The funds will be used to remove remaining sources of surface and subsurface contamination including Petroleum Hydrocarbons, Volatile Organic Compounds, and Benzene Concentrations above Ecology’s Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) levels.

“KCCHA is looking forward to completing this cleanup effort and producing a clean site, we would not be able to accomplish this without the collaborated efforts and help of the EPA, Department of Commerce, Department of Ecology,the City of Port Orchard and Grant Solutions,” said Casey Pleskun, KCCHA’s Project Director.

“We’re anxious to see the end of this cleanup because proceeding with development at this location has the potential to create jobs while benefiting seniors and adding something unique to our City,” said Port Orchard Mayor and KCCHA Chair Lary Coppola, adding that “The greater community will profit from economic opportunities provided by the construction and in time; jobs will also be created to provide nursing care, handyman jobs, home maintenance, and food services.”

The redevelopment of the Mitchell Avenue site would spur revitalization efforts in the entire Port Orchard community and will have a profound effect on the community’s lowest-income residents by providing affordable housing, reducing gentrification, establishing common links between business and community centers through pedestrian-friendly view corridors while taking advantage of bus access and ferries.

A formal project kick-off presided by the Mayor, Project team, Housing Kitsap, Commerce, Ecology and EPA will take place on Wednesday Sept. 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the project site located at 980 Mitchell Avenue.

Future updates will be announced on the official Housing Kitsap and City of Port Orchard websites. The public is invited to attend.

For more information about the Mitchell project, contact Housing Kitsap project director Casey Pleskun at (360)535-6130 or project manager Kathleen Byrne-Barrantes at (360)697-5815 or by email to grantsolutions [at] comcast [dot] net.

For information about the Brownfields RLF, go to the webpage located at: www.commerce.wa.gov/brownfields or contact Dan Koroma (360) 725-4062, or email daniel [dot] koroma [at] commerce [dot] wa [dot] gov; or Blake Nelson (360) 725-4050, email blake [dot] nelson [at] commerce [dot] wa [dot] gov.

 
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