Oregon Delegation Calls for Prompt EPA Action on Portland Harbor Site

All seven members of Oregon’s congressional delegation yesterday urged federal environmental officials to support the prompt transition of the Portland Harbor Superfund site from the prolonged study phase to active cleanup.

The letter from U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt notes that the Portland Harbor has been on EPA’s National Priorities List since 2000.

Every year the Portland Harbor goes without cleanup action, our region loses opportunities in the form of tax revenue, jobs, and property value, impeding economic opportunities for this important 11-mile stretch of industrial waterfront land within the City of Portland,” the seven lawmakers wrote.

The Portland Harbor site is contaminated after decades of industrial use along the Willamette with hazardous substances, including polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins/furans, pesticides, and heavy metals.

Earlier this year, the U.S. EPA released its final cleanup plan, called a Record of Decision, for 10 miles of the Lower Willamette River within the Portland Harbor Superfund Site which runs through the economic heart of Portland, Oregon.

EPA’s final plan, or ROD, addresses contaminated sediments through dredging, capping, enhanced natural recovery and monitored natural recovery, including removal of over three million cubic yards of contaminated sediments.