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Free Portland Harbor Cleanup Webinar Tonight, March 3rd - register now!

Release Date: 03/03/2016
Contact Information: Mark MacIntyre, EPA Seattle, 206-553-7302, macintyre.mark@epa.gov

March Community Information Session schedule set, release of Portland Harbor Cleanup Proposed Plan to follow in April

(Seattle – March 3, 2016) Throughout the month of March, the EPA will continue hosting community information sessions as the Agency prepares to deliver key cleanup documents for public comment in April. The public is encouraged to review the updated calendar and attend the sessions that are most convenient.

When the Proposed Plan is released the public will have an opportunity to review the plan during the formal 60-day public comment period. Public meetings will be scheduled during this formal public comment period during which EPA will receive oral or written public comments. Comments may also be submitted electronically or via postal mail until the comment period closes. The Public meeting schedule is still being confirmed.

The Lower Willamette River runs through the heart of Portland and is a treasured natural resource. Portland Harbor - or the section of the River between the Broadway Bridge and Sauvie Island - has contaminants on the bottom and banks which are harmful to people, fish and wildlife.

For the past decade, EPA and the Lower Willamette Group have been evaluating where these contaminants are found and the health risks they pose. EPA is now using the best science available to create a plan to make Portland Harbor a cleaner, healthier place to live, work and play. Once the Proposed Plan is finished, it will be released to the public for a 60-day comment period.

According to Dennis McLerran, EPA Northwest Regional Administrator, the most effective and helpful comments will be those which the community submits after reviewing the proposed plan when it is released in April.

“We know that strong community involvement builds better cleanups,” said EPA’s McLerran. “When our proposed cleanup plan is released in April, we encourage everyone to let us know what they think. We’ll consider and respond to all the comments we receive before we deliver the final cleanup plan at the end of the year. We believe all voices should be heard as we chart the future of the Lower Willamette.”

Through this public comment period (April-May), EPA will offer a series of public meetings. During these meetings, EPA will discuss the proposed plan, answer questions and accept formal comments. EPA will then respond to all formal public comments after the comment period ends and consider them in making a final decision.

The public is encouraged to attend one of the final EPA information sessions to hear EPA:

+ Provide background on Portland Harbor
+ Discuss why the cleanup is important to you, your family and your neighbors
+ Explain why your input is so important and how you can get involved

COMMUNITY INFORMATION SESSIONS SCHEDULE FOR MARCH:

Thursday March 3, Webinar Community Information Session │ 7:00pm | REGISTER NOW!

Thursday March 17, Gray’s Landing (Community Room)
0650 SW Lowell Street, Portland OR. (Near the Old Spaghetti Factory on the SW waterfront)
Open House │ 6:30-7pm. Community Information Session │ 7-8:30pm.

Wednesday, March 23, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
10301 NE Glisan Street, Portland OR.
Open House │ 6:30-7pm. Community Information Session │ 7-8:30pm.

Saturday March 26, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
1945 SE Water Ave, Portland OR.
Open House │ 11:30am-12noon. Community Information Session │12noon-1:30pm.
This session will feature a graphic facilitator who will capture community values via artistic illustrations.

For more about the Portland Harbor cleanup and the latest meeting schedule, please consult EPA’s website at http://go.usa.gov/3Wf2B.

For tips and suggestions for making effective public comments on the Proposed Plan:
http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-04/documents/making-your-voice-heard.pdf