Superfund Site Profile

IMPORTANT NOTE: Click here for the most current information about the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. Please bear with us as we reorganize our website.

EPA Public Comment Period on the Proposed Plan for Portland Harbor is Closed

The official EPA public comment period on the Proposed Plan for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site is now closed. The Proposed Plan was released on June 8, 2016 and public comments were accepted through September 6, 2016 (90 days). This time period included a 30-day extension required by law, as well as an additional 30-day extension, based on requests for additional time received by EPA.

In addition to accepting comments via e-mail, an online comment form and postal mail, EPA also provided four public meetings. At these public meetings, EPA presented and discussed the preferred cleanup alternative described in the Proposed Plan and accepted oral and written comments on the Proposed Plan. A video of one of the public meeting presentations and the presentation slides from the public meetings are below:

How will EPA respond to comments that were received on the Proposed Plan?

EPA will include responses to all comments that were received during the official public comment period in a responsiveness summary that will accompany the final cleanup plan (also called the Record of Decision). All comments that were submitted to EPA will be available in the Administrative Record upon the release of the final cleanup plan.

What was EPA's Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site?

The Proposed Plan presented EPA's preferred cleanup alternative, Alternative I, which reduces risks to human health and the environment to acceptable levels by dredging or capping 291 acres of contaminated sediments and 19,472 lineal feet of contaminated river bank, followed by 23 years of monitored natural recovery. The preferred alternative also includes disposal of dredged sediment in an on-site confined disposal facility and upland landfills. This Alternative will cost approximately $746 million and take 7 years of construction in the river.

The Proposed Plan also described other alternatives that were considered and the criteria EPA used to compare the alternatives, including estimated costs and construction timelines.

Site Background

The Portland Harbor Superfund Site in Portland, Oregon is located within the lower Willamette River from the Broadway Bridge (RM 11.8) to Kelly Point Park (RM 1.9) and is the result of decades of industrial use along the Willamette River. The Portland Harbor Superfund Site was added to EPA's National Priorities List in December 2000.

Water and sediment at the Portland Harbor Site are contaminated with many hazardous substances, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins/furans, pesticides and heavy metals. These compounds have been found to be harmful to people and the environment. Health risks at the Site are great enough for cleanup to be needed under the Superfund law.

EPA and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality are working with potentially responsible parties to clean up contaminated sediment and control sources of contamination.


Contaminated Ground
Water Status
Not Under Control
Site-Wide Ready for
Anticipated Use?