Port of Olympia secures state funding for Budd Inlet cleanup project


The Port of Olympia secured a total amount of $8.45 million from the 2023-25 state capital budget for the cleanup of Budd Inlet.

The state legislature approved the budget on Sunday, April 23, and appropriated the funding through two agencies: the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the Department of Ecology (Ecology). Commerce is allocating $2.2 million for the Port, which would be used to match a $6.5 million remedial action grant from Ecology.

The Port's Executive Services Director Lisa Parks told The JOLT that the funds would be used for what is described as Stage 1B of the project, which pertains to the design and permitting of the selected approach for the cleanup.

Ecology awards remedial action grants to local governments to assist them in the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. Stage 1A of the Budd Inlet project, which focused on identifying the best way to conduct the cleanup, was funded through a remedial action grant awarded to the Port in 2015.

The cleanup of Budd Inlet complies with a 2012 agreed order from Ecology to investigate and remediate contamination in the area, which had accumulated due to historical industrial activities. The project involves dredging multiple parts of Budd Inlet, which would be timely due to the expected inflow of sediments from the planned removal of the Capitol Lake Dam as part of the Deschutes Estuary restoration project. Port staff members have highlighted at previous meetings that the cleanup would take place regardless of whether the estuary restoration pushes through or not.

The Port expects to start dredging in 2025 and complete the project by 2030. Overall, the Port expects to spend about $100 million for the entire project length, making it one of the most significant Port projects in decades.

Funding allocated for the marine center, Marine Drive rehabilitation

The Port also receives $1.3 million as part of the state’s transportation budget, which the state legislature passed last Sunday. The funds would be administered through the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board program. It would rehabilitate a portion of Marine Drive from the intersection of Olympia Avenue and Marine Drive to the Marine Terminal gate.

Parks explained that this portion of Marine Drive is a designated heavy haul route that supports the movement of freight and goods into and out of the region.

The state legislature also reappropriated $250,000 from the 2021-23 capital budget into the new budget to continue the development of the Marine Center. The building would house the marina and Port administration offices and provide space for marine-related organizations such as the Puget Sound Estuarium, which would have its own exhibit space and classrooms in the building.


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  • rmandery

    Once the dam is removed deredging will become an enormous and consistent expense for the Port.

    Monday, May 8, 2023 Report this