Significant Progress Made in Moving Remedial Design Forward at Portland Harbor in FY2020
In fiscal year 2020 EPA finalized eight settlement agreements, amended a previous settlement agreement, and issued two unilateral administrative orders for remedial design to address contamination at the Portland Harbor Superfund site in Oregon. These enforcement actions, valued at more than $31.3 million, designate approximately 75% of the active in-water remediation work in remedial design, the process to develop a detailed cleanup plan.
The cleanup work resulting from these enforcement actions are a significant step for returning the Lower Willamette River to a healthy, working waterway for all and will impact many groups and communities with environmental justice (EJ) concerns. Roughly 21– 38% of the population living within one mile of the site are part of overburdened communities, and roughly 36– 47% live below the poverty line. A cleaner river will protect Oregonians and help spur a new era for Portland as a river city, one where the lands stretching along the river are revitalized, and companies can invest and bring new jobs to the communities.
On this page:
- Information about the Portland Harbor Superfund Site
- Overview of the Settlement Agreements and Unilateral Administrative Orders
- Contact Information
The Portland Harbor Superfund site encompasses a 10-mile stretch of the Willamette River that includes an in-river and an upland portion located just downstream of the downtown area of Portland. The river is contaminated from decades of industrial use and was added to EPA's National Priorities List in December 2000. Water and sediment at the site are contaminated with many hazardous substances, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins/furans, pesticides and heavy metals. These compounds have been found to be harmful to people and the environment.
The city of Portland and the state of Oregon are important partners in the effort to clean up this river. The state entered into a funding agreement with the Agency in May 2019 to incentivize potentially responsible parties to enter into the settlement agreements.
Additional information on this site is available from the Agency’s Portland Harbor Superfund site profile webpage.
The following is an overview of the 11 enforcement instruments completed in fiscal year 2020. Information on each action is provided on the Portland Harbor Superfund site profile’s Stay Updated/Get Involved webpage.
|November 5, 2019||Settling parties agreed to develop a site-wide institutional controls implementation and assurance plan and an information management plan.|
|December 13, 2019||Settling parties agreed to perform 100% of the remedial design for the “Willamette Cove” project area of the site (also known as the “B-6” project area, which includes the area between approximately river mile 6 and river mile 7).|
|December 30, 2019||FMC Corporation agreed to perform 100% of the remedial design for the “River Mile 9 West” project area portion of the “B-3” project area of the site.|
|January 29, 2020||Union Pacific Railroad Company agreed to perform 100% of the remedial design for the “River Mile 10 East” project area portion of the “B-4” project area of the site.|
|January 31, 2020||Settling parties agreed to perform 100% of the remedial design for the “B1-a” project area of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, an area from approximately river mile 3.5 to the downstream end of the St. John’s Bridge on the west wide of the Willamette River.|
|January 31, 2020||Settling parties agreed to perform 100% of the remedial design for the “Willbridge Cove” project area, which covers approximately 6.6 acres of the site.|
|February 7, 2020||General Electric Company agreed to perform 100% of the remedial design for the “River Mile 10 West” project area portion of the “B-3” project area of the site.|
|February 21, 2020||Arkema Inc. and Bayer CropScience Inc. agreed to perform 100% of the remedial design at the “River Mile 7 West” project area of site; an area from approximately river mile 6.5 to river mile 7.6 on the west side of the Willamette River.|
|March 4, 2020||NW Natural agreed to amend a 2009 Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent, known as the Gasco Settlement, and perform 100% of the remedial design for the B1 Navigation Channel and U.S. Moorings project areas within the site.|
Unilateral Administrative Orders
On March 26, 2020, the EPA issued two UAOs related to remedial design work at the site. The UAOs were amended on April 27, 2020 and became effective on May 4, 2020.
- The first UAO requires Evraz, Inc. to address contamination adjacent to the Rivergate plant between river miles 1.9 and 3.2 on the east side of the Willamette River.
- The second UAO requires Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. and MMGL, LLC to address contamination inside and adjacent to the International Slip between river miles 3.2 to 4.2 on the east side of the Willamette River.
For more information contact:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460