Does Anyone Know What Cleaning Up Portland's Toxic Harbor Will Cost?
By Dirk VanderHart in the Portland Mercury:
Their proposal would leave roughly 87 percent of the river's almost 2,200-acre Superfund site completely untouched—some 1,900 acres affected to some degree by nasty substances like pesticides, PCBs, and arsenic would be left to recover over time. It would haul nearly 1.9 million cubic yards of toxic muck from the river bottom and, depending on how Portlanders react, could put at least 670,000 of those cubic yards in a toxic waste site less than two miles north of the St. Johns Bridge (the plan will cost $65 million more without that site, the EPA says).
And when it's all said and done? After seven years of intermittent construction and two more decades of "natural recovery"? Portlanders might be able to safely eat nearly 20 of the Willamette's now-toxic resident fish species per year, up from the current federal recommendation of zero. That's the furthest the promises go.