DEQ is working with the Port of Portland, Metro and others to clean up contamination at this property, a former industrial site in North Portland along the east bank of the Willamette River. The property comprises approximately 27 acres and approximately 3,000 feet of Willamette River shoreline. Located south of the St. Johns Bridge, adjoining or nearby neighborhoods include Cathedral Park, St. Johns, and University Park.
1920 – Dry Dock Construction – Central Parcel. Photo shows the extensive infrastructure that was created to support the St. Johns Ship Repair Yard.
Willamette Cove's industrial use dates back to the early 1900s, including a lumber mill, plywood mill, barrel manufacturer and dry dock and ship repair facility. Industrial activities ended by the early 1980s. Metro purchased the property in 1996 and plans to preserve the land primarily as a natural area.
Previous industrial activities resulted in soil contamination. The contamination includes heavy metals, diesel fuel, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins. These chemicals pose a risk to human health and the environment. Information on the potential health effects from exposure to these contaminants is available in the 2013 Oregon Health Authority Health Consultation. While interim cleanup actions were performed in 2004, 2008, and 2015-2016, soil contamination remains at the property that poses a risk to people and the environment.
Recent photo shows current site conditions. Plants and animals have reemerged after industrial activities generally ceased in the 1970s. Photo courtesy of Michael Pouncil.
DEQ's upland cleanup will be closely coordinated with cleanup on the riverbank, beach and the adjoining Willamette River that EPA is managing as part of Portland Harbor Superfund Site work.