Sewage Overflows to Willamette River, May 23

While these should be more rare than in the past, here are two reports from BES issued on May 23:

Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Advisory

Heavy rain early Thursday (May 23, 2013) caused combined sewage and stormwater to overflow to the Willamette River from three outfall pipes:

On the east bank of the river just north of the Morrison Bridge;
On the west bank of the river at the Burnside Bridge; and
On the east bank of the river just north of the Fremont Bridge.

Portland Harbor Companies Ask EPA to Drop $125,500 Superfund Fine

Reported by Willamette Week:

Lower Willamette Group spokeswoman Barbara Smith says it's time to move on from assessing blame for study slowdowns.

"The thing about the fine is, not a dime of that money goes into the river," Smith says. "We have spent 13 years and $100 million studying the river. It is definitely time to get to a cleaning plan."

But Travis Williams, head of the environmental group Willamette Riverkeeper, says the EPA has been spurring members of the Lower Willamette Group to stop dragging their feet on creating a cleanup plan that could cost them as much as $2.2 billion.

"It would be great if the LWG would disengage from fighting the EPA in this cleanup," says Williams, "and instead dedicate its full effort to removing contaminated sediment from the Willamette."

EPA hits Lower Willamette Group with $125,500 penalty on Portland Harbor cleanup

As reported by Scott Learn in The Oregonian:

EPA said it could have fined the group more than $1 million, but reduced the fine because the group has made "good faith attempts" to address the agency's concerns.

River Mile 11 East Update

Learn more about River Mile 11E: 

Willamette Cove Health Consultation

The Oregon Health Authority's Environmental Health Assessment Program (EHAP) has released the final version of the Willamette Cove's East Parcel beach Health Consultation.

This version incorporates comments received during the public comment period, and reflects some changes made in response to comments. However, the findings remain the same. EHAP still considers this an area of public health concern. You can find more information on their website:

River Mile 11 Cleanup Advances

Update from OPB:

Rick Applegate is a consultant who served as the city's top administrator for the Harbor for ten years. He called Mile 11,between the Broadway and Fremont bridges. a "very important area", home to the worst PCB contamination in the river. The contamination lies in the river mud, but also in the water, and, at some times of the year, in fish found in that part of the river.

Movement in cleanup of River Mile 11E is reported in the Willamette Week

Portland Harbor cleanup to see more diverse community input as result of grant

As reported in The Oregonian:

"The Kaiser Permanente Community Fund has announced a $50,000 donation to a project seeking to provide more diverse community representation in discussions about the cleanup of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site.

The hazardous waste site is the result of decades of industrial use along the Willamette River and in 2000 was made a top priority of the Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA Criticizes Clean-Up Study for Portland Harbor Superfund Site

Posted on Northwest Public Radio:

"The EPA announced it will redo parts of a study exploring ways to clean-up the Portland Harbor Superfund site. An initial draft prepared by groups that will pay for the cleanup was biased, the agency says. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix explains."

Portland harbor Superfund cleanup alternatives have 'many deficiencies that need substantial revision,' Environmental Protection Agency says

As reported by Scott Learn in The Oregonian:

A landmark report on Portland harbor cleanup alternatives drafted by key harbor property owners last year has "many deficiencies" and needs "substantial revision," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says.

EPA comments on Draft Feasibility Study submitted by Lower Willamette Group


EPA received the draft feasibility study from the Lower Willamette Group in March 2012. The study describes various options for cleaning up Portland Harbor. EPA recently completed a technical review of the study and submitted comments to the Lower Willamette Group. Our comments are available for review (see below). 

Syndicate content