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PABA to ask state not to post Waterfront Trail

July 26th, 2006 - 6:17am

(Port Angeles) -- The Waterfront Committee of the Port Angeles Business Association is taking an active role in keeping the Port Angeles Waterfront Trail open.

It's in the wake of perceptions the state Department of Ecology wants to put up signs along the trail, warning using the trail near the old Rayonier mill site may be dangerous due to possible chemical contamination.

Waterfront Committee Chairman Dr. Jerry Hauxwell the PABA will send a letter to the state outlining their concerns. He says they'll request signs not be posted on the trail and perhaps augementing "not trespassing" signs already near the trail could suffice.


From Peninsula News Network

July 31, 2006

PA business group wants no signs by mill site

The Port Angeles Business Association is taking  hard line against that proposal to post warnings signs along the Waterfront Trail as it circuits the old Rayonier mill site… saying the state shouldn’t post any additional signs whatsoever.

The letters have been flying back and forth the past couple of weeks after the City of Port Angeles learned that Department of Ecology was considering posting signs warning trail users about possible toxins from the mill site. The trail doesn’t actually go through the mill itself, where operations were closed down in 1997, but goes along the southern edge of the property. There has been no specific evidence of a high concentration of toxins along the trail itself.

But members of the Olympic Environmental Council want strongly-worded signs telling walkers and bike riders they could be at risk and should take precautions, like washing their hands and avoiding contact with soils.

The PA Regional Chamber of Commerce has joined the city in suggesting signs that are more general in nature, without the dire warnings.

But the PABA is more adamant about there being no signs at all. In a letter being sent to DOE Director Jay Manning, the business group says it is against any action that might cause Rayonier to withdraw its easement allowing the trail to cross Rayonier land.

PABA says that section of the trail is no more hazardous that any other section of the trail, which runs from Ediz Hook through the heart of the city’s industrial area and downtown before becoming the Olympic Discovery Trail east of Port Angeles. The group says if the state can show the Rayonier is more hazardous than it would “insist” the trail be closed to the public.

PABA also points out that the Department of Health gave the trail clearance in a 2002 letter to the Olympic Environmental Council and that nothing has changed since then to create more of an environmental hazard.




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