EPA Will Examine Options
by April Baer
On Friday, draft options for cleaning up the Portland Harbor Superfund site will be delivered to the Environmental Protection Agency. Reams of data document what's on the river bottom along the Port-side stretch of the Willamette, and how it's affecting people and wildlife in the area. This report focuses on ways to clean it up.
Travis Williams is the Willamette Riverkeeper. He doesn't expect big surprises, since the stakeholders preparing the report have been in conversation with his group and others. But he says he hopes the EPA will focus on clean-up options that get toxic substances out of the river.
"To me, that's where the conversation really starts: let's rid this river of contaminated sediment in as many places as possible," says Williams.
Some options are likely to be less intensive, like capping certain contaminated areas, instead of removing the soil entirely. Williams says he thinks the end result might be a mix of total removals and other measures.
The Lower Willamette Group declined to comment until its report is made public on Friday.
The EPA will make a final decision on which options are best. Then come decisions about who might perform the clean-up, who would pay for the work, and how to dispose of contaminants.
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