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Harbor Oil Added to National Priorities List

Release Date: 9/29/2003
Contact Information: Judy Smith
(503) 326-6994

September 29, 2003

Harbor Oil (111535 N. Force Ave. Portland) was added today to the EPA's National Priorities List, making it Oregon's 11th Superfund site. The site is located in an industrial area near the Expo Center in northeast Portland. Contamination from the site may be migrating from the site into Force Lake and adjacent wetlands.

Harbor Oil was listed as a Superfund site following a review of conditions at the 4.2-acre waste oil reprocessing facility. EPA proposed the site for listing September 5, 2002 and accepted public comment until November 4, 2002. EPA considered input from the community, state and local agencies and tribes prior to adding the site to the National Priorities List today.

EPA intends to use its enforcement authorities to negotiate with the potentially responsible party to clean up the site. Funding has been set aside to start the Remedial Investigation of Harbor Oil.

The Harbor Oil facility is currently operating as a waste oil reprocessing facility. The site was formerly used for waste oil processing and as a tank truck cleaning facility. In March 1974, a major waste oil spill from on-site storage tanks killed fish in Force Lake. In October 1979, a severe fire destroyed the facility, causing large volumes of used oils and other contaminants to flow across the site, into wetlands bordering the site and Force Lake. The site was reconstructed in 1980.

The site was referred to EPA by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, who had been unable to reach a cleanup agreement with the owner. In summer 2000, EPA assessed conditions at the facility and documented the presence of several hazardous substances, including volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, metals, pesticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls. Contaminated soil was identified as the primary source of contamination.

For more information about the site, visit the EPA national press release:

Contact: Kevin Rochlin(USEPA) 206-553-2106

Contact: Terry Hosaka(ODEQ) 503-229-5532