Portland Harbor property owners make biggest pitch yet for lower-cost Superfund cleanup

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by Scott Learn in The Oregonian -

But Jim Robison, chairman of the Harbor's community advisory group, said the group worries pollution will leak from caps and confined disposal facilities, particularly after an earthquake or large floods. Pollution that remains in the river also requires perpetual monitoring, he said.

"We really don't want to see a legacy of pollutants left there," Robison said. "Whenever you leave something in place, under a cap or in a confined disposal facility, you always have the risk that it will leak."


Other recent stories:

OPB - EPA Will Examine Options For Willamette Superfund Site by April Baer -

Travis Williams is the Willamette Riverkeeper. He doesn’t expect big surprises, since the stakeholders preparing the report have been in conversation with his group and others. But he says he hopes the EPA will focus on clean-up options that get toxic substances out of the river.
"To me, that's where the conversation really starts: let's rid this river of contaminated sediment in as many places as possible," says Williams.


Portland Business Journal - Willamette clean-up could reach $1.8 billion by Andy Giegerich -

The feasibility study reports that:

  • Sediment cleanup activities would last between two and 28 years and cost between $169 million and $1.8 billion.
  • Each alternative except for one offered in the report would meet the Superfund goal of reducing health and environmental risks. One option is to not do anything at all.
  • In its present state, contact with sediment or water “does not pose significant potential risk” to individuals.


OPB - EPA To Begin Reviewing Harbor Cleanup Plan, by April Baer -

Barbara Smith is a spokeswoman for the Lower Willamette Group. It includes riverfront industries, the city, and the Port. She says her group was not looking for the cheapest option.

She explained, "Cost is a factor in the criteria that the federal Superfund law has put together. There's nine of those criteria, cost is just one of them. The primary two criteria all the options have to meet is will they be protective of human health and the environment, and do they comply with the law."