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.

PenPly Mill Demolition and Clean Up to Begin Next MonthExtensive 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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