Key Talking Points
- The cleanup of Willamette Cove must meet the highest possible standards for public and environmental health. Willamette Cove is one of only a few sites within the Portland Harbor Superfund Area that is anticipated to have public access (as a Metro natural area) once the cleanup is completed. It is critical that public and environmental health be prioritized at this site and that the site retain maximum flexibility in terms of future uses.
- DEQ should select Alternative 3b (Alternative Excavation and Offsite Disposal). Alternative 3b removes the vast majority of contamination from the Willamette Cove uplands while also protecting mature trees to the degree possible.
- DEQ should abandon its preferred alternative (4c) which would leave as much as 23,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils that exceed human and wildlife health risk levels onsite under caps. It would restrict future use of the site and perpetuate risk of releases and exposures in the future.
- The cost differential between Alternative 3b and DEQ’s preferred alternative is estimated at $2.8 million ($8.5 million versus $5.7 million). While this number is not insignificant, it is a relatively small differential given the increase in effectiveness, long-term reliability, site use flexibility and minimization of site use restrictions.
- Given future use of this site as a natural area with public access, the cleanup should achieve the highest possible standards. DEQ should not adopt a remedy that relies on perpetuating site restrictions, deed restrictions, and other institutional controls that have proven ineffective in the past and will limit that ability of this site to reach its maximum potential.
Thank you for speaking up for our river!