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Willamette River Sediment Study

Site summary

DEQ is working with regional stakeholders to investigate sediment quality and potential sources of contamination upriver of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, between downtown Portland and Oregon City.

DEQ divides this stretch of the Willamette into two areas: the Downtown Reach, extending from the Steel Bridge to the Sellwood Bridge, and the Upriver Reach, extending from the Sellwood Bridge to Willamette Falls.

For over 100 years, various industrial activities have occurred along this stretch of the river that may have contaminated sediment in the riverbed. Contamination in sediment accumulates in the aquatic food chain. It’s safe for people to swim in the river, but health officials recommend people don’t eat resident fish from the lower Willamette River.

Project partners include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Oregon Department of Transportation, ZRZ Realty Co. (Zidell), PacifiCorp, Portland General Electric, and TriMet. 

Documents and supporting information

Willamette Sediment Study.png

Your DEQ Online Project Numbers: 4956 and 6220
County:  Multnomah 
City:  Portland
Region: Northwest  


Downtown Reach
Project Manager: Heidi Nelson 

Phone: 503-229-6802
Upriver Reach
Project Manager: Mark Pugh

Phone: 503-229-5587