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Portland Harbor Partnership – Superfund Cleanup

Members of the Portland Harbor Partnership (PHP) joined us at our May Board of Directors meeting to share with the group PHP’s plans for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. The PHP is made up of public and private members, all of whom own property and are therefore partially responsible for the superfund site and its pollution. The superfund site begins at the Broadway Bridge and continues up to mile marker 2.0 on the Willamette River, in total about a 10-mile subset of Portland Harbor.

A 10-year long study was recently completed that analyzed what contaminants are present in the superfund site and where they are located. Various chemicals were identified, including legacy contaminants that are now illegal (i.e. PCBs and DDT). These chemicals have a direct impact on the worms, bugs, and fish that live in the river, as well as the birds and mammals that feed on the fish. There are also negative impacts on businesses that would like to get a permit in this area or would like to lease the land. Cleanup efforts will help the environment, human health, and the business community.

A report is bring prepared that will outline cleanup options for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA will select one of the options and propose a plan for cleanup. The public will have the opportunity to provide input at that time, ultimately resulting in a decision about how to proceed with cleanup. The PHP is seeking input and involvement from community members and interested stakeholders. Here are a few upcoming events open to the public:

May 30
On the Waterfront: A River Runs Through Us
7–8:30 pm, McMenamins Kennedy School
Speakers: Portland State University

June 14
On the Waterfront: Cleaning Up the Mud
7–8:30 pm, Mercy Corps Building
Speakers: Todd Bridges and Paul Schroeder, Army Corps Environmental Research and Development Center

To find out more about the Portland Harbor Partnership, their cleanup efforts, or how to become involved, please visit their website.

Click here to view the presentation given to the Board of Directors on May 18.

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