EPA Hits Lower Willamette Group with
by Scott Learn
The Environmental Protection Agency has fined a key group of Portland Harbor property owners $125,500 for "unacceptable quality" in its assessment of health risks from harbor pollutants. The Lower Willamette Group represents 14 large property owners in the harbor, listed as a federal Superfund cleanup site in 2000, including the city of Portland, the Port of Portland, Northwest Natural Gas and 11 large Portland industries.
EPA said it could have fined the group more than $1 million, but reduced the fine because the group has made "good faith attempts" to address the agency's concerns.
But the penalty marks another sign of rocky relations as EPA gets closer to making a decision, perhaps by 2015, about how the heavily industrialized harbor should be cleaned up. In January, the EPA said it would rewrite sections of another key Lower Willamette Group report on harbor cleanup options after finding "many deficiencies."
The Lower Willamette Group first submitted its human health risk assessment in 2009, focusing on the risks of eating fish and shellfish from the river. Since then, EPA and the group have tussled over language, with EPA contending that the property owners, on the hook for a portion of harbor cleanup costs, were downplaying harbor risks.
. . .
learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs