Hardel Plywood Site
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The Hardel Site is among a set of industrial sites located on the shore of West Bay Watersheds on Budd Inlet. Southern Bud Inlet is part of the Deschutes Estuary. It includes critical habitat for species under ESA. Several parcels are currently owned by the Hardel Plywood Company. The site has been prepared for development through a variety of local processes, by both city councils and staff, through Growth Management Act zoning and Shoreline Management Act designations. This is a useful case study in the implementation of the Shoreline Management Act by Local Government and cumulative impacts on Puget Sound Shorelines. The City of Olympia has jurisdiction. In 2021 has initiated a bid for development beginning with a development agreement approved by the City of Olympia and contested by Olympia Coalition for Ecosystems Preservation, followed by a full application for development of a massive mixed use complex filling the site.
Chronology of the Effort To Develop
- 2007 Ecology signed an Agreed Order requiring Hardel to investigate and clean up the site.
- 2012 Ecology removed Hardel Mutual Plywood from the list of contaminated sites. Information is archived, here:https://apps.ecology.wa.gov/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=3704
- 2015 Shoreline Master Program Update
- Comprehensive Plan
- A development agreement was submitted on 8/4/2020 by Hardel Plywood Company and and entity named MAWB4925 LLC, with a registered agent in Puyallup, WA.
- The project is represented by Phillips Burgess of Olympia, WA. who produced File:Phillip Burgess 2020 west bay yards promotional.pdf
- City of Olympia permit portal.
- Olympia City Council was scheduled to ratify the Development Agreement at their December 27, 2020 meeting.
- Olympia Coalition for Ecosystems Preservation contested the SEPA determination, which removed it from the council docket while the appeal was considered.
- On 1/11/21 The Hearings Examiner did not award OCEP its summary judgement. Hearings Examiner Files
- OCEP submitted the following appeal and request for summary judgement: File:OCEP 2021 hardel appeal.pdf which includes the 2016 restoration plan and other related planning documents.
- City staff report that they are preparing a docket item for 3/24/21.
- File:Cereghino 2021 hardel development agreement concerns.pdf provides a critique of the development agreement and proposed restoration as being without public benefit.
- 2021 (June 29) City determined that it received an application for development: https://olympiawa.gov/news-and-faq-s/construction-news/west-bay-yards.aspx
- File:OCEP 2022 west bay yards inconsistency.pdf (June 10) Olympia Coalition for Ecosystems Preservation files letter describing inconsistency with City of Olympia Shoreline Master Program
Sediment Contamination Context
- Ecology dioxin sediment analysis identifies Hardel as the highest level of dioxin sediment contamination in the inlet. (Budd Inlet sediment study - https://apps.ecology.wa.gov/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=2245) - a dioxin concentration interpolation can be viewed here.
- The Budd Inlet Sediment Characterization Study indicates that "The highest concentrations were in the vicinity of the Hardel Mutual Plywood/Reliable Steel on the West Bay and at site BI-S30 at the discharge of Moxlie Creek in the East Bay (Figure 4-1)." (p.24) Like most samples, excepting those at Cascade Pole, these samples showed a decreasing concentration with depth.
- The same study indicated, "Additional evaluation is needed at the Hardel Mutual Plywood site and the Moxlie Creek discharge to determine whether these sites are significant sources of dioxin/furan contamination through the use of PCP as a wood preservative, or if Cascade Pole was the source of accumulation to these areas based on water circulation patterns in inner Budd Inlet." (section 6.2, p.54)
- The 2012 Hardel Cleanup Action Plan did not require remediation of dioxin in sediments surrounding the site and claimed that contamination did not originate from the Hardel site (but did not, within that text, provide a logical basis for the claim). (https://apps.ecology.wa.gov/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=3704, p.8)
- Observation of 2015 lidar clearly shows a ditch approximately 16 feet by 650 feet, that appears to receive city storm water discharge, and includes water loving plants. This ditch may provide the last remaining wetland functions on the site, otherwise composed of fill (file:hardel_hillshade_sewer.jpg). The end of the ditch has a catch basin that discharges to Puget Sound.
Shoreline Management Context
- The site was given an "Urban Intensity" designation in the City 2015 shoreline master program, defined as follows "Urban Intensity: The purpose of the Urban Intensity environment is to provide for high‐intensity water‐oriented commercial, transportation, industrial, recreation, and residential uses while protecting existing ecological functions and restoring ecological functions in areas that have been previously degraded, and to provide public access and recreational uses oriented toward the waterfront." (from City of Olympia 2015 Shoreline Management Program).