The next cleanup project for the Port is the former Shell Oil tank farm, which was originally on tidal flats, then covered with fill in the 1925-’29 period between what is now 13th and 14th streets just east of McDonald's on Commercial Ave.
The property was acquired by the Port of Anacortes in 1929 and subsequently leased to the Shell Oil Company in 1930 for use as a bulk fuel storage and distribution facility that primarily handled gasoline and diesel range fuels until it was decommissioned in 1987 and all tanks, piping, and structures were removed.
Starting in mid-October, as part of the Puget Sound Initiative, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Port will be completing a remedial excavation to remove approximately 4,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil within the readily accessible portion of the site.
Confirmation soil samples will be collected during the excavation activities to verify the successful removal of contamination. During backfilling activities, an oxygen releasing material will be placed at the extents of the excavation to stimulate naturally occurring microbes to enhance biological degradation of organic contaminants potentially remaining in place beneath the sidewalk and asphalt surfaces of 14th Street and the Q Avenue.
Excavated areas of the site will backfilled with imported clean soil.
Following the remedial excavation activities the Port will monitor groundwater to confirm that concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons, carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene, and cadmium do not exceed groundwater cleanup levels.
Contributed by Friends of Skagit Beaches.