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Langley green lights port funding request

Langley leaders agreed to pay the Port of South Whidbey $14,712.52 for soil cleanup expenses that happened in October.

Contaminated soil was found along Wharf Street when the city extended its waterline to the marina at South Whidbey Harbor. The project was integral to the Port of South Whidbey’s expansion of the marina which increased dock space significantly.

The port requested funding assistance because the commissioners were under the impression that the earth was clean when it assumed ownership of the marina several years ago.

“Our understanding from early on when we were doing the harbor transfer was that the area had been cleaned up,” said Ed Field, the port district’s manager.

Nearly 124 tons of contaminated soil was excavated and disposed of in Everett, according to invoices given to the city. Field said the dirty dirt contained high amounts of a diesel-type material, as well as a very distinct and “awful smell.”

“It was all above the level that it needed to be disposed of,” he said. “Not wildly hazardous-type stuff, just contaminated.”

Langley did not dispute the costs and the city council approved the payment to the Port of South Whidbey at a council meeting Tuesday.

Paying for the cleanup came out of the city’s Water Reserve Fund, which had plenty of money to cover the unexpected expense.

“We’ve been saving for quite a while to do capital projects,” Debbie Mahler said.

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