In its amended state budget, the Senate Finance Committee allocated $2.5 million to ship tons of lead-contaminated soil off of Wrangell Island. Gov. Bill Walker requested funds be put towards the clean-up project.
The state is responsible for cleaning up the old Byford Junkyard, where 18,000 cubic yards of lead-contaminated soil sit. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has planned to dump the soil in a rockpit near Pat’s Creek. Many in the community of Wrangell have spoken out about the proposed dumpsite because it’s .2 mile away from a recreation area and fishing stream.
If approved, the funds allocated by the legislature would go towards shipping that waste down south rather than on the island.
But the Senate needs to approve that proposed allocation, and the House would need to pass a matching $2.5 million to make a complete off-island option feasible, according to ADEC officials.
The City of Wrangell’s lobbyist is advocating for this money.
Final decisions on the matter should wrap up by the end of the legislative session next Tuesday.