Five Filthy Facts from the $96 Million Portland Harbor Cleanup Study

warning: Illegal string offset 'files' in /home/phcag/public_html/modules/upload/upload.module on line 281.

As reported by Willamette Week -

You can download an executive summary of the study here.

But first, let's address the five most important things the study says.

1. No matter what option EPA chooses, it's likely there will be plenty of dredging work between the Steel Bridge and Fremont Bridge. Contaminant levels are so high there that all options call for cleanup work in this area.

2. The plans lean more toward dredging the chemicals out than capping them under mud and rocks. In the most limited cleanup, the companies would dredge 3.2 times as many acres of sediment as they capped. In the most expansive, they'd dredge 8 times more acres than they'd cap.

3. How much sediment is EPA thinking about moving or burying? The plans range from cleaning 49 acres of riverbed to 391 acres. Put another way, the responsible companies could be forced to dredge as few as 198,000 cubic yards of sediment, or as many as 6.1 million cubic yards.

4. What's the probable cost of the clean up? As little as $169 million to as much as $1.7 billion. That's way less than the $2.2 billion an earlier industry-commissioned study warned the project could cost. The three options the Lower Willamette Group strongly recommends in the study are on the low end of the spectrum, ranging in cost from $169 million to $398 million. So those are the numbers we're probably talking about in real life.

5. The disparity between the possible cleanups becomes most stark when viewed in terms of how long they'll take. The smallest cleanup would take just two years, and even a mid-range effort could be done in six. The largest one would take 28 years.