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.

Final Record of Decision for Portland Harbor

The EPA has issued the Record of Decision (ROD) that selects the remedy for cleanup at the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. The Selected Remedy is a final action for the in-river portion of the site from approximately river mile 1.9 to 11.8. We have selected Alternative F Modified as the final remedy. Alternative F Modified is designed to reduce risks to human health and the environment to acceptable levels and actively remediate (using dredging, capping, enhanced natural recovery, and monitored natural recovery) 394 acres of contaminated sediments and 23,305 lineal feet of river bank. This final remedy will cost approximately $1.05 billion and take about 13 years to complete.

EPA received input from over 5,300 commenters between June 9 and September 6, 2016 on the Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. We thank everyone who submitted comments. All comments that were submitted to EPA are available in the Administrative Record (please see the ‘Site Reports and Documents’ box to the right). Our responses to comments are included in the Responsiveness Summary in Part 3 of the ROD.

The Record of Decision and related documents are listed below:

Community Information Sessions for the Record of Decision

At the request of community groups and stakeholders, the EPA hosted community information sessions in Portland March 7 - 9, and a webinar on March 14th, to present the details of the final remedy.

Site Background

The Portland Harbor Superfund Site, as listed on the National Priorities List, includes an in-river and an upland portion of the lower Willamette River 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.

The Willamette River is an integral feature of the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, which is home to over 500,000 people. The harbor is an international portal for commerce; dozens of industries within the site provide economic sustainability to the community. The Lower Willamette is also a popular area for recreation, including fishing and boating. The river provides a critical migratory corridor and rearing habitat for salmon and steelhead, including endangered runs of steelhead and chinook. The area holds great importance to several tribes as a natural and cultural resource.