EPA ID# ORD050955848
EPA Region 10
Linn County

5th Congressional District

Other Names: Teledyne Wah Chang - Albany, Oremet-Wah Chang
Last Update: May, 2010

Hide details for Site DescriptionSite Description

The Oremet-Wah Chang (OWC) plant (formerly Teledyne Wah Chang) plant is one of the country's largest producers of zirconium and other rare earth metals and alloys. The site is located in Millersburg, Oregon and includes two areas: (1) a 110-acre plant and a 115-acre area made up of four ponds containing sludges from the plant's wastewater treatment facility; and (2) a 60-acre field where sludges containing radium were used as a soil amendment. Production at the site began in 1957. Process wastes disposed of on the site contained radionuclides, heavy metals, and chlorinated solvents. Solids generated from the process wastewater treatment system have been stored in a number of surface impoundments. Until 1980, sludges were taken to seven unlined storage ponds on site, including the Lower River Solids Pond and Schmidt Lake, both located next to the Willamette River. About 20,000 people live within three miles of the site. About 1,100 employees currently work on site; as many as 2,000 people were previously employed at the plant. The Willamette River, Truax Creek, and Murder Creek border the facility and are used for recreational activities, irrigation, watering of livestock, and fishing. Municipalities downstream from the site do not use the Willamette River as a drinking water source.

Site Responsibility: This site is being addressed through federal and potentially responsible party actions.

NPL Listing HistoryDates
Proposed Date:12/30/1982
Removed Date:
Withdrawal Date:
Final Date:09/08/1983
Deleted Date:

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Media Affected: Groundwater, Soil & Sludges
On-site sludge was contaminated with thorium, uranium, radium, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Creek sediments are contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)s. Soil is contaminated with radionuclides, heavy metals, PCBs, and volatile organic compounds. Shallow groundwater is contaminated with VOCs, radium, and heavy metals. Past potential health threats included direct contact with and accidental ingestion of contaminated sludges, soil, or groundwater. The discharge of contaminated groundwater into nearby creeks could pose ecological risks. Radium contaminated soil may produce radon gas emissions, which pose an inhalation risk.

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PHONE NUMBER:206-553-4092
PHONE NUMBER: 206-553-0247
Information pertaining to this site is housed at the following location(s):
Albany Public Library (Administrative Records)
1390 Waverly Drive Southeast
Albany, OR 97321
(541) 967-4307

EPA Region 10 Superfund Records Center (Administrative Records)
1200 Sixth Avenue, ECL-076
Seattle, WA 98101