Upper Columbia River Site Study | Region 10 | US EPA

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Upper Columbia River Site Study

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Community Involvement

  • Kay Morrison (morrison.kay@epa.gov), 206-553-8321, or toll-free at 1-800-424-4372

Project Managers

  • Laura Buelow (buelow.laura@epa.gov), 509-376-5466
  • Kathy Cerise (cerise.kathy@epa.gov), 206-553-2589
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Site Summary

EPA is studying hazardous waste contamination in the Columbia River from the U.S./Canada border to the Grand Coulee Dam and surrounding upland areas. The study is called a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS).

Past studies by federal and state agencies have shown increased levels of hazardous waste contamination in Upper Columbia River sediments, including heavy metals such as cadmium, copper, lead, mercury and zinc, and other contaminants like dioxins and furans.

In August 1999, the Colville Confederated Tribes petitioned EPA to conduct an assessment of environmental contamination in the Upper Columbia River. The petition expressed concerns about risks to people’s health and the environment from contamination in the river.

In 2001, EPA collected samples of river sediment to learn more about the types and amounts of pollution that exists. The results showed that contamination is present in the lake and river sediments, and that a more detailed investigation is needed to evaluate possible risks to human health and the environment.

In 2005, EPA conducted sediment and fish tissue sampling under Phase I of the RI/FS. In 2006, EPA signed an agreement with Teck American, Inc. for them to fund the RI/FS. Under this agreement, final documents are available on Teck American's Upper Columbia River Project website Exit EPA disclaimer

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