News Releases

Senator Murray Announces Full Senate Passage of $1 Million for the Port of Ridgefield in VA-HUD Bill

Aug 02 2001

Grant is twice as large as Congress approved last year

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced that the full Senate has committed $1 million to clean up contaminated water at the Port of Ridgefield. The funds are earmarked as an Economic Development Initiative grant in the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) section of the appropriations bill. The VA-HUD bill passed the Senate by a vote of 94-5.

"I am pleased that my colleagues in the Senate have committed these funds to clean up underground pollution contaminating the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge," Murray said. "In helping the Port of Ridgefield to redevelop this brownfield we are providing a cleaner, healthier environment for our families and revitalization for our businesses."

The Port of Ridgefield once leased land to Pacific Wood Treating Corporation, which went bankrupt in 1993. The company chemically treated wood with creosote, pentachlorophenol, copper, chromium and arsenic, and left behind 30 years worth of soil and groundwater contamination.

The most urgent problem is a 2-4 acre underground plume of contaminated water moving toward a deeper, regional aquifer, as well as toward Carty Lake, which is adjacent to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, and toward Lake River, a tributary of the Columbia River.

The House VA-HUD bill does not earmark this source of funding, so the challenge now will be to keep the funding in the bill when the House and Senate committees meet to negotiate on a final bill. Last year Senator Murray worked with Rep. Brian Baird and Senator Slade Gorton to secure $500,000 in EPA's budget for this project.