Oregonian Article About Confined Disposal Facilities (CDF)

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The Oregonian's Scott Learn released an article about issues surrounding the placement of confined disposal facilities (CDFs) at Terminal 4, Swan Island, and Arkema after attending last month's CAG meeting on the subject.  The article reflects many of the issues that the CAG, EPA, and LWG have been dealing with over the last few years.


To read the article, click here.

 

For more information on CDF's generally, click here.

 

Response to CDF

Last week the EPA unveiled their latest proposal for containing waste material at the Portland Harbor Superfund site.  The Lower Willamette Group and EPA have concluded that the best (cheapest) method of disposal would be to build an earthen berm across the front of Slip 1 an area large enough to park an aircraft carrier and in staying with the CWA (Clean Water Act) allow said water to evaporate.  No explanation of how fish would be removed (of which there are thousand and every species in the harbor).  In addition there is no plan to line the site before dumping contamenated fill but rather to allow over time ground water to leach through the berm.  At other EPA sites, the closest being the FOSS at Tacoma this method has resulted in heavy contamenation of fish populations and would put Willamette River Sturgeon at risk as well as the health of sports anglers.  The length of time after the berm is built and before waste is added remains a mystery because the area is about 50 feet deep in water, subject to ground water flow, tides and it does rain in Oregon.  The truth may come out in November when the EPA is scheduled to release the ROD (record of decision).  This report should cover all plans for the much delayed clean up but, the T$ site is an early action so it will be a top priority to accomplish.  Estimated costs for building the site are 50-63 million dollars and must be monitored for the life of the project (450 years).

To further anger Oregonians a second disposal site may be built at Swan Island lagoon and used to house the industrial waste from this site.  The public will likely lose the boat ramp and access to that area.  The site would probably be a dump and cap site and left with some water over it but limited or no access to protect the cap.  Half a mile of what use to be the main river channel has already been filled in over the years until environmental laws put a halt to such practices.  Cost rather than safety again seems to be the chief mitigating factor.  No mitigation for loss of water has been discussed.

Those concerned about their sewer costs should know that the super fund site often runs waste waters through the Portland Sewage Plant containing comtamenates that can damage that system and dredging in the clean up site will put more burden on the system.

Those interested in what is going on with the harbor should attend the Portland Harbor Citizens Advisory Group meeting with the LWG and EPA on November 9th, currently scheduled for the Water Pollution Control Laboratory, 6543 N Burlington Ave, Portland, Oregon just south of Cathedral Park and the St. Johns Bridge.