Retain the Record of Decision for the Portland Harbor Superfund Cleanup
The Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group, Portland Harbor Community Coalition, North Willamette Watershed Council, Portland Audubon, Willamette Riverkeeper seek to retain the Record of Decision as originally issued by the EPA in December 2016.
While an effort to change that plan is being pressed upon the EPA, that procedure does not conform to CERCLA law and Superfund process which says changes, additions or corrections should not occur or be adopted until the Five-Year Review. Benzo-A-Pyrene has been reevaluated by the EPA to state that while it definitely causes several types of cancer; the overall risk of cancer is lower than previously estimated
This change benefits in particular two cooperating potentially responsible parties (PRPs); but it does not benefit the community at large. While we empathize with their desire to reduce overall cost of the cleanup, the Record of Decision as adopted was already a compromise that leaves contaminants in the river. To leave an additional 17 acres of PAH’s in the river to continue to affect wildlife habitat and human health is to benefit a few for the short term and not the many. Looking toward the future, health for all those affected, now and in the future still should take priority.
The EPA Proposed Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) explains a reduction in the amount of cleanup to be required in the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. EPA is accepting comments on the ESD until December 23rd. Attached here is material developed by community members for use in submitting comments.