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Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site

Posted on June 14, 2016

On June 8, 2016 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) released their Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site in Portland, Oregon. The Proposed Plan presents the USEPA’s preferred alternative to address contamination of sediment and shorelines in a 10 mile section of the lower Willamette River. This section of the lower Willamette River was subjected to over 100 years of waste discharge by hundreds of industries located along its riverbanks and in the greater Portland area.

The Proposed Plan, also known as Alternative I, consists of the following activities:

  • Dredging and/or capping of about 290 acres of contaminated sediments;
  • Monitored Natural Recovery of 1,876 acres of contaminated sediments; and
  • Excavation and/or capping of contaminated soils along 19,500 linear feet of riverbank.

The USEPA estimates Alternative I will cost about $746 million (+50% to -30%) and require seven years of construction in the river. This represents a significant reduction from the $2.1 billion preferred alternative in the 2015 Feasibility Study (FS). It is anticipated that this cost will be allocated amongst 150 or more responsible parties.

The release of this Proposed Plan initiates a 60-day public comment period that is currently scheduled to end on August 8, 2016. Comments may be submitted here.

Roux Associates can provide the technical expertise to assist in assessing yours or your clients’ potential exposure to the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. It is important to remember that that USEPA’s cost estimate does not include any cleanup work that may be required at on-shore or upland properties, nor does it include any potential Natural Resource Damage (NRD) claims. Furthermore, the liability allocation which is currently being undertaken by the PRPs, including the Lower Willamette Group (LWG), will have serious implications on the financial liability for affected parties.

To read the full text of the Proposed Plan, click here to download the file from the USEPA website. If you have questions regarding the Proposed Plan and would like to request technical assistance from Roux, please click below.

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