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EPA will release its Record of Decision for the Portland Harbor Superfund site, charting the removal of contamination from a 10-mile stretch of the Willamette River.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promises to unveil its long-awaited Record of Decision next week, which lays out the final cleanup plan for the polluted Portland Harbor Superfund site.

The plan will lay out precise methods for cleaning up contamination in a 10-mile stretch of the Willamette River and where to target hundreds of millions of dollars of projects. The Record of Decision, or ROD, comes 16 years after the Portland Harbor was first named a Superfund site, in December 2000.

"I expect by Jan. 6 that they would have posted the ROD on line and make it available for people to look at it," said Suzanne Skadowski, press officer at the Seattle EPA regional headquarters.

The EPA released a draft cleanup plan in June estimated to cost $746 million. Some predict the cleanup price tag will far exceed that eventually.

More than 5,300 people and organizations submitted public comments on the cleanup plan by a September deadline, and the EPA must respond to those comments in its Record of Decision.

The agency has been scrambling to complete the massive report before a new president takes office and chooses new leadership for the EPA in Washington D.C. and at the regional headquarters level.

"It's nice to have something that you can bring to another stage in the process while you're here," Skadowski said.

Current regional EPA administrator Dennis McLerran steps down when President Obama's term ends and President-elect Trump takes office on Jan. 20.

Often it can take new presidential administrations several months to name new regional EPA administrators, Skadowski said. When McLerran leaves office on Jan. 20, deputy regional administrator Michelle Pirzadeh will step up to serve as acting regional administrator until Trump picks a longterm replacement.

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Find out more:

yosemite.epa.gov/r10/cleanup.nsf/sites/ptldharbor