Contractors begin demolition of old G-P mercury cell building

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDSeptember 3, 2013 

BELLINGHAM - Demolition of the mercury cell building on the old Georgia-Pacific Corp. site began Tuesday morning, Sept. 3.

When G-P was still in the business of making chlorine for paper bleaching, the building was used to handle mercury cells used in that process.

In recent months, the squat, two-tone tan concrete-and-plywood building has been used for processing mercury-tainted soil excavated from the vicinity. The soils were combined with cement and bagged for shipment to an Oregon landfill.

Washington Department of Ecology spokesman Dustin Terpening said the building will be knocked down by excavators. Air nearby will be monitored to make sure there are no hazardous emissions, and steps to control dust will be in effect, he added.

Strider Construction Co. is doing the job as part of a contract with the Port of Bellingham. The public port district now owns the G-P property and is in the process of cleaning up contamination to ready it for new development.

Reach John Stark at 360-715-2274 or john.stark@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Politics Blog at bellinghamherald.com/politics-blog or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldpolitics.

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