PenPly Mill Demolition and Clean Up to Begin Next Month

By Rich Christianson | Posted: 11/15/2012 8:52PM


PORT ANGELES, WA - The Peninsula Plywood (PenPly) mill, which closed for good in November 2011 after piling up a mountain of public debt, is scheduled to be torn down beginning late next month.

Peninsula PlywoodPeninsula Plywood, closed since November 2011, will be demolished to make way for redevelopment by the Port Washington Port Authority. Extensive clean up of environmental waste of the 19-acre site will follow the demolition so that the site can be redeveloped by the Port Authority of Port Angeles.

The Washington Department of Ecology will provide a $2 million grant for the site cleansing. This is on top of the $350,000 that the port authority has budgeted to cover demolition, according to the Peninsula Daily News. The newspaper also noted that redevelopment might not take place before 2017.

The Department of Ecology notes that a plywood mill has been operated on the port-owned property since 1941. Contaminants that need to be removed from the soil and groundwater include diesel, oil and gasoline; benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes; and pentachlorophenol (PCP), a chemical used in wood treating processes.

The pending tear down of the PenPly mill will end a once feel-good story that began in 2009 when investors working with the port authority announced they would reopen the former K-Ply plant and restore jobs to the area. During the next two years, PenPly took a roller coaster ride, reportedly gaining big contracts from Asia, laying off employees the next and receiving state grants to stay in business. The company racked up major debts, including failing to pay more than $280,000 in utility bills.

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About the Author

Rich Christianson

Rich Christianson is Associate Publisher and Editor at Large of Woodworking Network. During his 25+ years covering the wood products industry, Rich has toured hundreds of manufacturing plants throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His reporting has covered everything from the state of the industry and impact of wood imports to technology and environmental issues. In his current capacity he is responsible for editing the daily Woodworking Network Update newsletter and coordinating events including the annual Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and Canada’s biennial Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo. He can be contacted at or follow him on Google+.

Read more of Rich Christianson's blogs.

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