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Portland Harbor Superfund agreement aims to drive new cleanup plans throughout the Lower Willamette River

City and state to provide $24M in incentive funding to bring responsible parties into cleanup planning

05/10/2019
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an agreement in principle with the city of Portland and state of Oregon to help fund detailed cleanup plans for the 10-mile Portland Harbor Superfund. The site is on the EPA administrator’s national Superfund emphasis list for intense and accelerated effort.

“This agreement with the city of Portland and the state of Oregon represents another important milestone in our progress toward cleaning up the Lower Willamette River,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.  “With today’s agreement, the city and state are showing strong leadership and commitment to moving the cleanup forward. We hope all responsible parties will step up to take advantage of this unique funding opportunity. This agreement reflects EPA’s commitment to prioritize the Superfund program and ensure these sites are cleaned up as quickly and safely as possible.”   

The city and state have agreed to provide up to $24 million in reimbursement funding to act as an incentive for responsible parties to come forward to complete detailed cleanup designs across the entire Superfund site. This agreement aims to encourage all responsible parties to step up quickly as the offer expires at year end. The agreement will help advance EPA’s goal to work with responsible parties to achieve 100% cleanup design for 100% of the site by the end of this year.

“Today’s agreement is part of our collaborative work with the state and the city, with our tribal and federal partners, with the responsible parties, and with the community to keep the cleanup moving ahead,” said EPA Region 10 Administrator Chris Hladick. “The cleanup will reduce health risks to people, fish and wildlife in the Lower Willamette River, and set the stage for commercial and industrial redevelopment and revitalization of the river and waterfront in the economic heart of Portland.”

The Portland Harbor Superfund cleanup is a priority focus for EPA regional and national leadership. The cleanup will reduce health risks to people, fish, and wildlife and set the stage for commercial and industrial redevelopment and revitalization of the river and waterfront running through the economic heart of Portland. EPA’s collaborative work with the state and the city, tribal and federal partners, the responsible parties, and the community is part of the overall effort to keep the cleanup moving forward. A cleaner river will protect Oregonians and help spur a new era for Portland as a river city, one where the lands stretching along the river are revitalized, and companies can invest and bring new jobs to our communities.

Background

EPA placed the Portland Harbor Superfund Site on the Superfund National Priorities List in 2000. In 2017, EPA issued the Record of Decision or final cleanup plan for the site, a 10-mile stretch of the Lower Willamette River, located in Portland, Oregon. EPA is working with over 100 Responsible Parties and coordinating with tribal, state, federal and local partners to implement the Record of Decision.  EPA is actively negotiating agreements with Responsible Parties to develop remedial design plans and move forward with Early Action Area, or hot spot, cleanups. Active cleanup construction work is expected to take approximately 13 years and cost approximately $1 billion. Find more information about Portland Harbor at www.epa.gov/superfund/portland-harbor.