Portland Harbor Proposed Cleanup Comment Period Begins

The public comment period for cleanup of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site launched yesterday and goes until August 8th. See an official release from the EPA below:

Portland Harbor Proposed Cleanup Plan and Public Comment Period

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking formal public comment on the Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site in Portland, Oregon from June 9, 2016 until August, 8, 2016.

The Portland Harbor Superfund Site is located on the lower Willamette River approximately between the Broadway Bridge and Sauvie Island. This area is contaminated with many hazardous substances. The most widespread contaminants of human health significance are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs-now banned) and dioxins/furans. The most widespread contaminants of ecological significance are PCBs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins and furans, and the pesticide DDT (now banned). EPA has determined that human health and environmental risks posed by the Portland Harbor site are high enough to take action under the Superfund Law. After many years of studying the Site, the EPA is releasing a Proposed Cleanup Plan.

EPA’s Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site presents EPA’s preferred alternative or option to lower risks to people and the environment from contamination in the lower Willamette River and its river banks. Alternative I, EPA‘s preferred alternative, reduces risks to human health and the environment to acceptable levels by dredging and/or capping 291 acres of contaminated sediments and 19,472 lineal feet of contaminated river bank, followed by 23 years of monitored natural recovery. The preferred alternative also includes disposal of dredged sediment in both an on-site confined disposal facility and upland landfills. This alternative will cost about $746 million and take 7 years of construction in the river. This alternative will address waste that poses the greatest threat to people and the environment through construction and relies on monitored natural recovery to continue to reduce remaining lower contaminant concentrations to acceptable levels.

Public comment is critical and EPA believes the best cleanup plans are developed and implemented with the support of a well-informed community. The public is encouraged to review and submit comments on the Proposed Cleanup Plan to EPA during the formal 60-day public comment period beginning on June 9, 2016 and ending on August 8, 2016.

EPA will host official Public Meetings to overview the Proposed Plan and take oral and written public comments.

You are invited to attend the official EPA Public meetings below to be held in Portland, Oregon:

·        June 24, 2016, 11:30am to 8pm, City of Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave.

·        June 29, 2016, 11:30am to 8pm, Portland EXPO Center, 2060 N Marine Dr.

·        July 11, 2016, 11:30am – 8pm, University Place Conference Center, 310 SW Lincoln St.

·        July 20, 2016, 11:30am – 8pm, Ambridge Center, 1333 NE Martin Luther King Blvd.

All locations are easily accessible via MAX trains and bus lines.

EPA will offer two presentations on the Proposed Plan during each public meeting at the following times:

·        12noon to 12:30pm

·        6pm to 6:30pm

Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese interpreters will be available during the June 24th meeting.  Please notify Laura Knudsen knudsen.laura@epa.gov or 503-326-3280, no later than two weeks prior to the other public meetings to request language interpretation assistance.

Throughout the 60 day comment period, written comments may be submitted via:

·        Email: harborcomments@epa.gov

·        Online comment box: https://www.epa.gov/or/forms/comment-epas-proposed-cleanup-plan-portland-harbor-superfund-site

·        Postal mail: ATTN: Harbor Comments, U.S. EPA, 805 SW Broadway, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97205

The public is encouraged to review the Proposed Plan, Fact Sheet and supporting documents at the following locations:

·        EPA’s website http://go.usa.gov/3Wf2B

·        Multnomah County Central Library, 801 SW 10th Ave., Portland OR

·        St. Johns Library, 7510 N Charleston Ave., Portland OR

·        Kenton Library, 8226 N Denver Ave., Portland OR

Questions? Contact Alanna Conley at 503-326-6831