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EPA proposes North Ridge Estates near Klamath Falls for National Priorities List

Release Date: 03/08/2011
Contact Information: Ken Marcy, EPA NPL Coordinator, (206) 890-0591, marcy.ken@epa.gov, Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Seattle – March 8, 2011) Today, the North Ridge Estates site, located approximately three miles north of Klamath Falls, Oregon, was proposed for addition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List of the most contaminated sites in the nation. If listed as proposed, the site will be cleaned up under the agency’s cleanup program known as Superfund.

EPA and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recently completed a thorough study of asbestos contamination at the site and evaluated possible cleanup options. Since 2003, EPA has been testing the site and actively removing surface soils that are heavily contaminated with asbestos. In order to protect residents’ health, some people were relocated from the site in 2006.


“Although we have made significant progress addressing some of the most imminent threats, a substantial volume of asbestos contamination remains,” said Dan Opalski, EPA Region 10 Superfund Director in Seattle. "The Superfund listing will provide access to resources for us to finish the job of making the property safe for future use."

The presence of asbestos in both surface and subsurface soils at the site presents an unacceptable health risk to residents in the area who may inhale dangerous asbestos fibers.

In 2010, Governor Kulongoski requested that EPA propose North Ridge Estates to the NPL.

The asbestos contamination originated from the improper demolition and disposal of over 80 old military barracks built at the site in 1944. The military barracks were constructed with siding, roofing, floor tiles, and steam pipe wrap that contained asbestos. After the military closed the facility, it became the campus for the Oregon Institute of Technology. In December 1977, the property was purchased by MBK Partnership for development. In 1993, Klamath County approved subdivision plans and construction of homes began later that year. MBK sold properties in the subdivision from 1994 until 2002.

A final decision regarding inclusion of the site on the National Priorities List will occur after consideration of public comments, which will be accepted for 60 days. The Federal Register Notice, with instructions on how to comment on the proposed listing of the North Ridge Estates Asbestos site, is available at
http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm

Copies of supporting documentation for the proposed listing are also available for review at the Klamath Falls Public Library, located at 126 S 3rd Street, and the EPA Region 10 Superfund Records Center located at 1201 Sixth Avenue in Seattle.

For additional information about North Ridge Estates Asbestos site, visit:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/r10/cleanup.nsf/sites/NRE

For additional information on EPA’s NPL visit:
http://go.usa.gov/4Kd

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