Environmental Protection Agency has a Clean-Up Plan for Portland Harbor

Environmental Protection Agency has a Clean-Up Plan for Portland Harbor

On Wednesday, after a long wait finally the federal government released its plans for cleaning up the soil in Lower Willamette River which has been contaminated with cancer-causing substances from years of industrialization.

The Environmental Protection Agency has a plan of dredging the river bed and entrapping the contaminated sediments below a layer which will confine it under. But that is just for some hundred acres of the total contaminated zone of the huge 2,200 acre Portland Harbor Superfund Site. In the 'hybrid' proposal, the other areas are left in Mother Nature's care to do the mending with some places to be cleaned with initiative from the cleaning crew.

The dredging will be done on 167 acres where soil will be removed from the river bed and from that some amount will be taken to a landfill. Some amount of soil will be stored in a special structure in the river which will contain it. However, officials signal that the final plan might require sending the entire dredged soil to landfills.

A stretch of sixty-four acres which includes 10,000 feet shoreline will be covered with a layer of plastic or some different material.

James Woolford, a federal superfund manager in EPA's Washington, D.C., office said the plan is a "balanced approach" to the cleanup efforts.

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