River Mile 11E Early Action Area | Region 10 | US EPA

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River Mile 11E Early Action Area

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Contacts:

Alanna Conley (conley.alanna@epa.gov)
Community Involvement Coordinator
503-326-6831

Sean Sheldrake (sheldrake.sean@epa.gov)
Project Manager
206-553-1220

Portland Harbor Superfund Site:

Community Resources (fact sheets, public meetings, newsletter)

Technical & Legal Documents

Maps & Photos

Site Summary

River Mile 11E Early Action Area is part of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site in Portland, Oregon. In April 2013, EPA entered into a settlement agreement with several potentially responsible parties to conduct additional investigations along a section of Portland Harbor known as River Mile 11 East (11E). This area is generally located between the Fremont and Broadway Bridges on the east side of the Willamette River. Previous investigations identified elevated concentrations of PCBs in this area of the river compared with other sections of the site.

PCBs are the primary contaminant contributing risks to human health through fish consumption and to ecological receptors. A graph highlighting the elevated PCB concentrations in fish tissue in River Mile 11E compared to other areas of Portland Harbor is available for review (see link below).

The purpose of the supplemental remedial investigations is to get additional information needed to select and design the cleanup remedy for River Mile 11E. The intent is to accelerate and begin cleanup plans for River Mile 11E along with other hot spots (areas with elevated contaminant concentrations), such as Arkema and Gasco, before starting cleanup on the rest of the site.

What is an early action area? Early actions are parts of a larger Superfund cleanup that EPA has determined may become a threat to people or the environment before the long-term cleanup for the site is completed.

Companies agree to begin site investigation
River Mile 11E

Map of River Mile 11E (click on image for larger view).

EPA recently entered into an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent with several potentially responsible parties to conduct supplemental remedial investigations on the east side of the Willamette River from River Mile 10.9 to River Mile 11.8 within the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. The Settlement Agreement is available for review (see link below). This section of the river is identified as the River Mile 11 East (11E) Project Area and is generally located between the Fremont and Broadway Bridges on the east side of the Willamette River. Elevated concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as well as other contaminants were identified in this section of the river during previous investigations.

PCBs are the primary contributor to human health and ecological risk in the River Mile 11E Project Area. The main way people are exposed to the chemicals in Portland Harbor is by eating fish such as bass, carp, and catfish, which live in the river year round (resident fish). A graph highlighting the elevated PCB concentrations in fish tissue in River Mile 11E versus other areas of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site is available for review (see link below). Other contaminants contributing to risk to humans in this section of the river include dioxins/furans, organochlorine pesticides, and arsenic.

The purpose of the supplemental remedial investigations for River Mile 11E is to obtain additional information needed to select and design the cleanup remedy for this section of the Portland Harbor site. The intent is to begin cleanup of River Mile 11E and other hot spots (areas with elevated contaminant concentrations), such as Arkema and Gasco, before starting cleanup of the rest of the Superfund site.

Supplemental investigations to be conducted are outlined in the Settlement Agreement Statement of Work, which is available for review (see link below). Activities to be completed include sampling sediment near and under dock structures; sampling upland groundwater; characterizing the riverbank; sampling porewater and collecting sediment information to inform potential sediment cap design; conducting a geotechnical evaluation of the riverbank and sediment; assessing near shore flow patterns and impact of shipping operations on sediment re-suspension and stability; and evaluating storm water.


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