The American aluminium giant will submit a draft clean-up plan for the 416-acre site to the state Department of Ecology in June, which will then accept public comment prior to pushing ahead with a final decontamination plan for the former Reynolds Aluminium property.

Alcoa, in conjunction with Millennium Bulk Terminals hope to turn the site into a coal export terminal and with this in mind have collected soil, landfill and mud deposit samples as well as groundwater and surface water samples.

While the site has changed hands – from Reynolds Aluminium to Longview Aluminium to Chinook Ventures – the land is still owned by Alcoa who must, therefore, take the rap for cleaning it up.

Over the years, and prior to environmental legislation, chemicals were dumped on the ground and allowed to seep into the soil and groundwater.

A considerable on-site clean-up operation has already taken place, according to Alcoa.