Remedial Investigation Report submitted to EPA

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EPA recently received the draft Portland Harbor Remedial Investigation (RI) Report from the Lower Willamette Group.  The RI report takes an in-depth look at the nature and extent of contamination in a 10-mile stretch of the lower Willamette River, including surface and subsurface sediment, fish and shellfish tissue, surface water, groundwater, and storm water,  It also describes the physical features, current and historical land and harbor uses, and habitat areas of the river and nearby lands.

Here is a link to the Executive Summary

Two important sections of this report are the human health and ecological risk assessments.  One key finding of the draft report is that the most significant and widespread risks are from exposure to four chemical groups – Polychlorinated biphenyls, (PCBs), dioxins and furans. DDT, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  Ingestion of resident fish poses the greatest risk of adverse health effects for humans. However, there are many other contaminants that pose some risk.

The draft RI report is the outcome of a thorough eight year undertaking to study the Portland Harbor Superfund Site and it provides the base of knowledge needed to complete the remaining steps of the cleanup planning process, including a Feasibility Study to develop and evaluate viable cleanup options, a Proposed Plan for public comment and then issue a Record of Decision to document EPA's cleanup decision.

Key sections of the report are posted on the EPA Portland Harbor website.  A paper copy of the RI report is located at the St. Johns Branch of the Multnomah County Library.  You can also get a DVD copy of the report by sending an e-mail request that contains your mailing address.

EPA will be carefully reviewing this report over the next several months for accuracy and completeness and will approve it once the agency is satisfied that it provides sufficient information to make cleanup decisions.

You are welcome to review this document concurrently with EPA and provide us with your thoughts.  Open houses, workshops and meetings will be scheduled after the first of the year.  Please contact Judy Smith (contact information below) if you would like to schedule a presentation for your organization or group.

An overview of the draft Portland Harbor Remedial Investigation Report is being presented by the Lower Willamette Group at the regular meeting of the Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 11 at the BES Water Pollution Control Lab 6543 N. Burlington Avenue.
Dan Phalen, Community Outreach and Public Information
EPA, Region 10, Oregon Operations Office
805 SW Broadway, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97205