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The federal agency could soon begin enforcement actions against polluters who have not yet started cleanup planning

COURTESY EPA - A new EPA map of the existing cleanup planning.Cleanup plans are now being designed for more that half of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Monday.

"The working parties that have stepped up and signed these remedial design agreements with EPA show a strong commitment to moving the cleanup forward and serve as a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together," the EPA said in a March 9 press release.

The EPA did not say when cleanup plans will start being designed for the other half of the site, however. Nor would the EPA reveal with potentially responsible parties have not yet agreed to start remedial cleanup designs.

"We are hoping to get either agreements soon, or start the enforcement process. Until we sign agreements, or until we issue a formal enforcement action, we can't say much," said EPA spokeswoman Suzanne Skadowski.

The in-river portion of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site spans about 10 miles of the Lower Willamette River in Portland. The EPA released a final cleanup plan — also called the Record of Decision or ROD — in January 2017 to address contamination in the sediment, surface water, and groundwater that poses an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment. Since then the agency has been seeking parties to sign up to perform remedial design of the remedy.

The press release listed eight new settlement agreements with parties deemed potentially responsible for the pollution that caused the EPA to designate the harbor a superfund site. They include Arkema Inc., Bayer Crop Science Inc.,General Electric Company, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC, McCall Oil and Chemical Corporation, Phillips 66 Company, and Shell Oil Company, Union Pacific Railroad Company.

When these agreements are combined with the four previous ones, over half of the acres in the EPA's final cleanup plan are now in the remedial design phase.

Remedial design funding is supported by a $24 million EPA trust funded equally by Oregon and Portland, both of which have been designated potentially responsible parties.

You can learn more here.


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