Port puts priority on toxic cleanup

State program helped transform Washougal waterfront property

Washougal Waterfront Park and Trail includes a covered picnic area, 0.7-mile trail, a launch area for kayaks and canoes, a plaza and lawn areas. The Port of Camas-Washougal recreation site, located on the former Hambleton Lumber Company property, opened in September 2016.

The Port of Camas-Washougal’s legislative agenda for 2019 includes continued funding for a state program that helped transform a once-toxic site into what is now one of the port’s shining achievements: the popular Washougal Waterfront Park and Trail.

Port leaders listed the continued support for the Model Toxic Cleanup Account as one of its main legislative concerns in the new year.

Managed by the Washington State Department of Ecology, the toxic cleanup account paid the lion’s share of the costs in 2014, when port leaders decided to transform the former Hambleton Lumber Company site at 335 S. “A” St., in Washougal, into a riverside trail and park.

The lumber mill closed in the summer of 2010. In 2014, the cleanup fund pumped nearly $800,000 into a project to clean toxic chemicals, including lead, mercury and carcinogenic hydrocarbons, from the former Hambleton site. The waterfront park and trail opened in September 2016.

The port’s 2019 legislative agenda also includes transportation improvements — including the widening of the Camas slough bridge and state Route 14 (SR-14).

The port supports legislation that increases competitiveness of manufacturing, trade and industrial development, and stated in its 2019 legislative priorities that it also supports the Port of Vancouver’s $2 million capital request to the state legislature for the Terminal 1 project.

The 2019 Washington State legislative session is scheduled to begin Monday, Jan. 14, in Olympia.

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