Division of Spill Prevention and Response


Haines Sawmill

Incident location map. Summary Date: August 2006 View detailed information from database on this site.arrow
Status: Active Database Name: Haines Sawmill
Location: Lutak Road, Haines, AK Latitude/Longitude: See database entry
DEC Contaminated Sites Contact: Bruce Wanstall, Project Manager – 907-465-5210
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Aerial photo of site.



Located on Lutak Inlet just past the ferry terminal, the Haines Sawmill is a large industrial site where high-grade spruce cants were produced for export to Japan and other markets. The mill operated from the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s when a new owner, Pacific Forest Products, completed one of the terms of a long-term timber sale contract extension with the State of Alaska that included establishing an electrical generation facility that burned wood waste for fuel. In 1987, the Chilkoot Lumber Co. (CLC) purchased and operated the mill, producing 32 million board feet per year before operations ceased in 1991. Equipment of value was then shipped off the property and what remains are the waste materials. Since the late 1990s, with guidance from Contaminated Sites Program, CLC has made some progress organizing hazardous materials and moving petroleum contaminated soil off-site. Environmental study of the site was performed for the Yukon Provincial Government in 2002, to evaluate purchase of the Chilkoot Lumber Company Inc. property, but with a change in leadership in the Yukon, interest in the venture diminished.


Human and Environmental Concerns


Transformers with PCB laden oil, stockpiles of hog fuel and fly ash contaminated with dioxins remain on-site. There are approximately 100 containers of hazardous materials such as waste oils, lubricants, paints, antifreeze, and water treatment chemicals stored in insecure areas. Although the entrances are gated, the site itself is not fenced, and admittance to buildings is not restricted. Admission to the docking facility is not restricted where a number of boards are rotten or missing.


Current Status


The current condition of the facility is best described as thousands of tons of waste metal, derelict buildings and equipment. Hazardous materials are stored at insecure locations and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) required inspections of these stored materials are behind schedule and disposal plans are long overdue. When viewed as a whole, the property can be said to present the potential for mishaps involving the old structures or exposure the hazardous materials stored on-site. Plans that Chilkoot Lumber had for metal salvage and hazardous material shipment off-site have been on hold since early 2004 when the application for EPA Brownfields Program cleanup grant funding failed to gain approval.


More Information


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PCB Transformers


PCB Transformers

Antisapstain dip tank. Drums belong to Fish Plant, not sampled. Likely used oil.

Dip tank. Chip blower building in background left.


View of Power House generator annex on the centre right. 6 transformers.


Precipitate storage in this trailer.


Hog Fuel pile looking South.

Contaminated soil pile inside of Hog Fuel storage shed. Location of HSHFC.