McCormick and Baxter Superfund Site | Region 10 | US EPA

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McCormick and Baxter Superfund Site

  • Anne Christopher (, EPA Project Manager, (503) 326-6554
  • Judy Smith (, EPA Community Involvement, (503) 326-6994
  • Sarah Miller (, Oregon DEQ Project Manager, (503) 229-5040
2016 Five Year Review Completed

EPA, in coordination with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, has completed our fourth "Five Year Review" of the McCormick and Baxter Creosoting Company Superfund Site.

This site is located within the Portland Harbor Superfund Site on the east bank of the Willamette River, but is not included in the proposed remedy for Portland Harbor. This review was also separate from the public comment period for the Portland Harbor Proposed Plan.

This review provides a routine check-up to make sure that the cleanup conducted in accordance with the 1996 and 1998 Records of Decision continues to protect people and the environment. Cleanup included demolition of the McCormick and Baxter plant, excavation and treatment of contaminated soils, soil capping, sediment capping and construction of a subsurface barrier wall. Soil, groundwater and sediment were contaminated by wood treatment activities at the site from 1944 until 1991.

If you have any questions about our review, please contact Anne Christopher, EPA Project Manager, 503-326-6554.

Site Summary

The McCormick and Baxter Superfund Site is a former creosote wood treating facility located on the east bank of the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. The site encompasses approximately 41 acres of land and an additional 23 acres of contaminated river sediments. The McCormick and Baxter Creosoting Company was founded in 1944 and continued operations until October 1991.

Site investigations confirmed releases of wood-treating chemical compounds to soils, groundwater, and sediments. Remedial investigations identified two non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL) plumes migrating to the river and impacting surface water and sediments, and an additional NAPL plume migrating under the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway right-of-way toward Willamette Cove.

Construction of the site remedies was completed in September 2005. Completed cleanup activities include soil excavation and disposal, upland soil capping, installation of a subsurface barrier wall, NAPL recovery, construction of a multi-layer sediment cap in the Willamette River, monitoring, and engineering and institutional controls.

Site Contaminants

Soils, groundwater, and sediment have been contaminated with polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, comprising est. 85% of the creosote), PCP, arsenic, chromium, copper, zinc, and dioxins/furans.

Where to Review Site Documents

Some site documents are available online below. You can review copies of all technical documents, fact sheets, and other documents at the following locations:

  • St. Johns Library
    7510 N. Charleston Ave.
    Portland, OR 97206
  • EPA Region 10 Superfund Records Center
    1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900
    Seattle, WA 98101
    1-800-424-4372 (please call for an appointment)
Technical Documents

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