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Mile High Natural Awakenings

Superfund Success Story: Toxic Site Now Welcomes Walkers

Sep 30, 2019 07:30AM

Gopal Seshadrinatha/Shutterstock.com

A wood-treating process for telephone poles that caused soil and groundwater contamination prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate 47 acres in Bellingham, Washington, as a Superfund site in 1997. The cleanup, including removal of 28,000 tons of contaminated soil to a repository, reestablishment of a natural stream and restoring wetlands, is now complete, with walking and bicycling paths, newly planted native trees and wetland shrubs, and returning birdlife. The Oeser Company, which cooperated with the cleanup, has operated at the site since 1943 and continues to do so.
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