Divvying Up the Superfund Cleanup

Portland Tribune, August 30th, 2016

“The Port of Portland, state of Oregon, NW Natural and other players in the long-running saga have some advice: Divide the Superfund cleanup into smaller, bite-size projects.”

“The Port of Portland has continually worked against the EPA in this process,” Williams says. “At this point, it’s more gamesmanship by the Port of Portland to get something they can control. I think proposals of this type can be dangerous because they are clearly angling for something that is less expensive,” he says.

Tribal leaders take their case on Willamette River cleanup to D.C.

Street Roots, August 2nd, 2016

“Fishing isn’t just a right on paper for us, it’s a part of who we are and how we live” said Virgil Lewis, a member of the Yakama Tribal Council. “This plan does not go far enough to protect the waters and fish, and therefore violates the treaty that reserves our right to a meaningful fishery where we can harvest healthy fish that are safe to eat. Our expectation is that the EPA will revise this plan to protect our people, our fish and our way of life. In doing so, the general population of the region will also benefit as will the economy.”

Watered-down promises for the Willamette River cleanup

Street Roots, June 30th, 2016

“Early this month the EPA released its draft plan to remove toxic contamination from the bottom of the Willamette River. The plan represents the culmination of 16 years of study, a federal mandate to remove toxic substances, and extensive jockeying from government agencies, polluting industries and community and environmental groups.

The plan stumbled out of the gate at 2 p.m. June 8, and critics took aim immediately.

“It’s a huge deal,” said Mary Ann Warner, of the Portland Harbor Community Coalition. “It’s just beyond me how they could actually put out this plan and think that it was OK.”

A sewer runs through it — the Willamette River in the 21st century:

Street Roots, June 9th, 2016

“… the Willamette is a major priority for the Yakama Nation, as it is one of the most important sources of fish contamination in the entire Columbia basin – from the Canadian border to the mouth of the river.

“This is a one-shot opportunity to get the cleanup done right, and done correctly,” Longoria said, adding “it is very evident now that EPA’s proposal is somewhat of a big-win for industry, and a big loss for the general public, the tribes, and the resources.”

Portland’s Finally Going to Talk to Disadvantaged Folks About Their Filthy River

Portland Mercury, April 13th, 2016

“I’m pushing the city to do more innovative, creative solutions as opposed to the bare minimum, which is what they’ve been doing,” says Edward Hill, executive director of Groundwork Portland, which looks out for the interests of minorities and low-income Portlanders on environmental issues like the Superfund site.”

“The group has the city convinced. Michael Jordan, director of the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, agreed on Monday to spend city Superfund dollars on a last-minute outreach push, aimed at the groups the PHCC represents. Jordan tells the Mercury that plan’s still in the works. So is the dollar figure, though he said $50,000 isn’t out of the question (the city spends millions a year dealing with the harbor).”