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Port Gamble S’Klallam awarded $400K for environmental cleanup

SEATTLE – The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe has received a federal $400,000 grant to assess, clean up and redevelop a former industrial property.

The grant is one of six – totaling $1.4 million – sent to the greater Seattle area.

Port Gamble S’Klallam’s funds – $200,000 from the Hazardous Substance Assessment Grants program and $200,000 from the Petroleum Assessment Grants program – will be used to conduct site assessments, determine human health risks and promote community involvement. Contamination will be identified and documented, a necessary step before the site is redeveloped.

The tribe has identified at least 14 sites that are potentially contaminated from manufacturing operations in the area, including a lumber mill, finishing mill and marine vessel facilities. Health officials have reported that tribal members may be consuming contaminated fish, game and plants.

“Cleaning and reusing contaminated properties provides the catalyst to improving the lives of residents living in or near brownfields communities,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said. “A revitalized brownfield site reduces threats to human health and the environment, creates green jobs, promotes community involvement and attracts investment in local neighborhoods.”

Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash. Contact him at