Article by Stephen Quirke published in Street Roots:
The Willamette waterfront is many things to many people – a place to sleep, a food source, a wildlife habitat, a place to swim and for others, a place to dump industrial waste.
An Oregonian report from 1906 called the river a “common sewer for the entire valley,” and after a state official reported typhoid germs in the river that year, the Oregonian suggested that readers should “cultivate the gentle art of keeping their mouths closed while in the water.” In 1885, the city of Portland formed a committee to find water less polluted by sewers and pulp and paper mills, and by 1895 the first water from Bull Run was flowing into the city.
The Portland City Council today passed the first reading of an agreement to ensure that the city-owned Swan Island boat ramp continues providing service to recreational boaters. The agreement transfers ownership of the boat ramp from the Bureau of Environmental Services to Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R).
The US EPA Released the following statement, with the Proposed Plan for Cleanup of the Portland Harbor:
Proposed EPA Cleanup Plan will make Portland Harbor safer and healthier for all
Willamette Superfund milestone and event:
On June 8, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will release its Proposed Plan to clean up the 12 miles of the Willamette River followed by 60-day Public Comment Period that will be the main opportunity for public involvement in the entire process.
Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group (PHCAG) is hosting a
PUBLIC FORUM - The EPA Proposed Plan Explained
June 21, 2016, 7pm to 9pm
Harriet Tubman School, 2231 N. Flint (near Emanuel Hospital)
Noticed from the EPA 5/27:
"The EPA will publicly release the Portland Harbor Feasibility Study and Proposed Plan on Wednesday, June 8. A media availability will be held that day, featuring Regional Administrator Dennis McLerran and Regional Superfund Remedial Cleanup Program Manager, Cami Grandinetti, at EPA’s Portland office (805 SW Broadway, Suite 500, Portland OR 97205). A photo/video availability will follow at a downtown riverside location. More details on the availability will follow on Monday, June 6. The public comment period will officially begin on Thursday, June 9 and end on Monday, August 8. We look forward to speaking with you on June 8th."
EPA will also be announcing a schedule of public hearings to be held during the Public Comment Period.
Various community groups will be hosting forums about the Proposed Plan to encourage participation, and to encourage members of the public to provide their comments to EPA.
The Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group (CAG) has a forum scheduled for June 21st, 7pm, at the Harriet Tubman Middle School, at which Peter deFur, technical adviser for the CAG will provide a report on his review of the Proposed Plan.
by Steve Duin in The Oregonian
For as long as I can remember – heck, since Hillary Clinton last lived in the White House – the wrangling over the cleanup of the Portland harbor has been as infuriating and intractable as a rush-hour rendezvous with the Ross Island Bridge.
"The public is going to have 60 days to read this document and absorb it," Sallinger notes. "The Environmental Protection Agency and potential responsible parties have had 16 years to discuss and negotiate and haggle over the process."
Fishermen, kayakers, shipbuilders, ratepayers, provocateurs, gather round: At long last, the Environmental Protection Agency is asking what you want.
Will your comment, your questions, your passion count for anything?
A lot more than your silence will.
Commentary by CAG member Barbara Quinn published in Street Roots:
As reported in The Portland Mercury:
But it turns out this latest hiccup may also result in an unanticipated positive. After weeks of outcry from groups keeping tabs on the process, the City of Portland has agreed it should do more to educate the public about the cleanup and what's at stake—like potentially billions of dollars and decades of chemically tainted fish.