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EPA Announces Terminal 4 Cleanup Decision

Release Date: 05/17/2006
Contact Information: Mark MacIntyre, (206) 553-7302, Judy Smith, (503) 326-6994,

(Portland, OR - May 17, 2006) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its clean up plan for contaminated sediments at the Port of Portland Marine Terminal 4 in Portland, Oregon. The final plan calls for dredging approximately 115,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments, capping 8.7 acres and monitoring 10.9 acres for natural recovery. The dredged material will be placed in an on-site confined disposal facility (CDF).

EPA selected the action proposed by the Port of Portland in a May 2005 Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA) with some changes based on public comments the Agency received.
These changes include:

* Using a public process to establish sediment disposal and acceptance criteria,

* Requiring additional earthquake design considerations for the CDF

* Establishing a plan of action in case natural recovery areas are not producing the desired results, and

* Adding specific mitigation goals for fish and wildlife.

According to Dan Opalski, EPA Environmental Cleanup Director, the selected action reduces ecological and human health risks and minimizes the likelihood of sediment recontamination at Terminal 4.

“We chose this plan after careful evaluation and intense scientific scrutiny,” said EPA’s Opalski. “In the final analysis, we determined that by dredging, capping and confining the sediments safely on-site, we could best protect people and the environment for now and the future.”

The Port of Portland Marine Terminal 4 is located along the Willamette River in north Portland near the communities of Linnton and St. Johns. Terminal 4 is an operating marine facility with a variety of tenants and tenant operations, including automobile imports and dry and liquid bulk cargo export. The sediment in the slips and adjacent to the facility is contaminated with polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals (mercury, cadmium, chromium, lead and zinc), pesticides (DDT, DDD, DDE), phthalates and polychlorinated biphenyls. (PCBs).

The cleanup of Terminal 4 is an early action to remove contamination within the Portland Harbor Superfund site. Planning and design work will begin this summer, and the start of construction is anticipated in 2007.

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