EPA ID# ORD009412677
EPA Region 10
Multnomah County

3rd Congressional District

Other Names:
Last Update: August, 2007

Hide details for Site DescriptionSite Description

The Reynolds Metals site was the location of a primary aluminum reduction plant where alumina from bauxite ore was converted to aluminum. The site included the location of the 80-acre plant and approximately 700 surrounding acres. Reynolds ceased operations in 2000, and the facility is currently owned by ALCOA. The facility is located about 1 miles north of Troutdale and is bordered by the Columbia River to the north and the Sandy River to the east. The United States government built the plant in 1941, to support its war-time operations. Reynolds first leased the plant from the government in 1946, and purchased it three years later. Large quantities of wastes were generated by the plant during the production of aluminum. Major hazardous substances of concern include polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), aluminum, cyanide, fluoride, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from electrical equipment. The Columbia and Sandy Rivers are used for recreation and fishing. People reach the rivers by traversing the Reynolds property. Anadromous fish live in both rivers.

Site Responsibility: This site is being addressed through potentially responsible parties' actions.

NPL Listing HistoryDates
Proposed Date:08/23/1994
Removed Date:
Withdrawal Date:
Final Date:12/16/1994
Deleted Date:

Hide details for Threats and ContaminantsThreats and Contaminants

Media Affected:
Samples collected in mid-1993, revealed elevated concentrations of cyanide and fluoride in several on-site drinking water wells. EPA also discovered significant levels of aluminum, barium, manganese, cyanide, and fluoride in surface water samples. Groundwater monitoring conducted in 1993 showed that four constituents exceeded primary maximum contaminant levels (MCLs): arsenic, beryllium, fluoride, and tetrachloroethene (PCE). Fluoride was the only constituent that exceeded MCLs in the intermediate and deep wells. Sediments in a ditch and lake on-site are contaminated with fluoride, metals, and PAHs. Ingesting contaminated groundwater, surface water, sediments, or soils was is a threat to public health.

Hide details for Cleanup ProgressCleanup Progress

Reynolds Metals is being cleaned up in two phases: early and long-term actions.

EARLY ACTIONS: Under a September, 1995 Consent Order with EPA, Reynolds Metals completed six early actions during 1995 and 1996. These actions addressed the following areas.

Cryolite Ponds: 13,900 tons of cryolite, a production waste with high levels of fluoride, were excavated and disposed off-site.

East Potliner Area: 11,000 tons of spent potliner, a production waste with high fluoride, cyanide, and PAHs, were excavated and disposed off-site.

PCB Spill Area: 580 tons of PCB-contaminated dust, soil, and debris from inside and outside the casthouse were removed and disposed off-site.

Diesel Spill Area: 2,600 tons of contaminated soil were excavated and disposed off-site.

Bakehouse Sumps: 21 dewatering sumps contaminated with fluoride, cyanide, and PAHs were cleaned, and surface water runoff was redirected to prevent further contamination.

Production Wells: 7 out of 18 deep wells no longer in use were decommissioned.

In addition to these actions, other early cleanup actions were undertaken to address specific areas of contamination during 1997 - 1999, including removal of PCB-contaminated soil from the South Wetlands area and removal of contaminated soil and sediment from South Ditch.

LONG-TERM ACTIONS: Under the same Consent Order, Reynolds Metals conducted a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) at the site. The RI/FS is focused on groundwater, soil and debris areas, wastewater discharge areas, and surface water and sediments. Groundwater monitoring wells have been installed and semi-annual sampling of the wells is underway. The RI/FS studies have identified several areas that are sources of contamination, including a former scrap yard area, an old landfill located north of the facility, an old landfill located south of the plant, and a surface water impoundment, Company Lake, that has been used as a settling pond for plant wastewater prior to discharge to the Columbia River. The groundwater beneath the facility is contaminated with flouride, and plumes of contamination appear to be related to the former east potliner and scrap yard areas and process residue in Company Lake.

The facility was recently acquired by ALCOA and operations were shut down in the summer of 2000. Source control actions at scrap yard and Company Lake were evaluated as part of the feasibility study, and ALCOA agreed to perform a removal of the contaminated soil and debris from the scrap yard area and removal of process waste residue from a portion of Company Lake. Removal of the a portion of the process residue was completed in October 2001. At the scrap yard area, waste material containing approximately 20,000 pounds of fluoride and 12,000 pounds of PAH’s was removed. The material was transported to a permitted disposal facility for final disposal.

EPA issued an interim Record of Decision (ROD) in September 2002 that included in the following cleanup actions:

- Removing the remaining contaminated process residue from Company Lake
- Excavating contaminated waste and soil from the south landfill area and eastern portion of the north landfill area
- Off-site disposal of excavated waste material at a permitted disposal facility
- Capping the western portion of the north landfill area
- Installing extraction wells in the east potliner and scrap yard areas to remove and contain groundwater contaminated with high levels of fluoride
- Modifying the operation of existing production wells to limit the further spread of fluoride in groundwater
- Discharging groundwater from the combined focused extraction/production well (FE/PW) system to the Columbia River
- Groundwater monitoring and institutional controls to ensure the remedy remains protective and limit future use of shallow groundwater

EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) to Reynolds Metals/Alcoa in 2003 to undertake the Company Lake, north landfill and south landfill remedial actions. Most of the work was completed in 2004 and the final portion of work at Company Lake was completed in October 2005.

Company Lake – In 2003, this former waste disposal area was drained and sludge-like waste material containing almost 3 million pounds of fluoride and 80,000 pounds of PAH’s was removed. In 2004, additional waste material containing 1.5 million pounds of fluoride and 42,000 pounds of PAH’s were removed. In the fall of 2005, work was completed when a small area adjacent to the Corps of Engineer’s dike, which could not be safely removed, was capped.

North Landfill – Waste material containing over 100,000 pounds of fluoride, and over 12,000 pounds of PAHs was removed from the eastern portion of this former waste disposal area. The area has been regraded and vegetated. The western portion of the landfill, which had low levels of contamination, has been covered with a rock and gravel cap.

South Landfill – Contaminated soil containing almost 1.5 million pounds of fluoride and 55,000 pounds of PAH’s were removed. In 2004, an additional soil containing 0.5 million pounds of fluoride and 20,000 pounds of PAH’s was removed and the area was regraded.

EPA issued a second UAO to Reynolds/Alcoa in August 2005 to implement the groundwater remedial actions. Construction the focused extraction system was completed in fall of 2005, and the FE/PW system is operational.

Reynolds/Alcoa began demolition of the plant in 2003 to prepare the site for redevelopment. Demolition activities have included sampling and removal of additional contaminated material, including building materials, waste, soil and debris. Demolition was completed in 2005, and a post-demolition evaluation of the plant site area was completed in 2006. EPA issued a final Record of Decision for the site in September 2006, which concluded that the site soils no longer posed a unacceptable risk, but groundwater work that was begun under the interim ROD would need to continue for several years to prevent the spread of flouride to the Sandy River and reduce contaminant levels in groundwater below maximum contaminant levels established by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Hide details for Regional ContactsRegional Contacts

SITE MANAGER(S):Chip Humphrey
PHONE NUMBER:503-326-2678
PHONE NUMBER:503-326-6994
Information pertaining to this site is housed at the following location(s):
Gresham Regional Library (Administrative Records)
385 NW Miller
Gresham, OR 97030
(503) 248-5387

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