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News Releases from Region 10

EPA Continues Cleanup Work at the Site of Portland’s River Street Warehouse Fire

Contact Information: 
Suzanne Skadowski ( )

PORTLAND -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in coordination with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will continue to clean up hazardous materials and secure the site of a warehouse that burned down on May 14, 2017. The cleanup site is located at 1300 North River Street in Portland, Oregon, in a mixed industrial, residential and commercial area.

The EPA and DEQ mobilized a coordinated emergency response to the aftermath of the warehouse fire. Asbestos was used as insulation in the warehouse’s roofing material, and the fire distributed Asbestos Containing Material or ACM over a large area of northwest and downtown Portland. Over four weeks, EPA, DEQ and contractors removed debris from building roofs, parks, sidewalks and other public spaces. Crews collected over 250 pounds of debris that contained asbestos over a 3-square mile area. Air samples collected throughout community areas were below action thresholds for asbestos. EPA and DEQ concluded that in areas down-wind from the warehouse, cleanup efforts reduced warehouse-related asbestos to levels that will not present unacceptable risk to human health or the environment. EPA and DEQ also worked to temporarily stabilize and prepare the warehouse site for more extensive ACM removal and disposal.

Beginning the week of September 25, EPA and contractors will continue cleanup activities to safely remove all the remaining ACM still located at the warehouse site. To address safety concerns about the structural integrity of the site where the former warehouse was built on the Willamette River, EPA will construct two trestles over the site to safely access and remove all remaining ACM. The ACM removal work is expected to last about four months.

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