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N. Portland Road Temporary Alternative Shelter Site

The City of Portland has proposed a new Temporary Alternative Shelter Site, or TASS, on property it owns at 10505 N. Portland Road. The property is owned by the City of Portland and is located in the St. Johns neighborhood adjacent to the Columbia Slough. 

According to the city, the proposed TASS is planned to accommodate up to 200 people in tiny home pods and parking spaces for people living in their RV or camper.

Public involvement

DEQ and the City of Portland hosted a public information meeting on April 30, 2024 to share information about the City of Portland's draft Contaminated Media Management Plan, draft Risk Assessment and forthcoming Remedial Action Plan, as well as to answer questions from community members. 

View the presentation slideshow:
DEQ is committed to providing regular updates with interested community members. If you would like to be added to the email distribution list, please contact Michael Loch or subscribe to DEQ's GovDelivery distribution list for this site.

Current status

The site is considered a “brownfield", which is a vacant or underused property where actual or perceived environmental contamination complicates its reuse. DEQ is providing the City of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services with technical assistance and oversight for investigating, cleaning up and planning safe reuse of the site. Learn more about DEQ's brownfields program by visiting our brownfields web page or reading our brownfields fact sheet.

DEQ issued the City of Portland a Water Pollution Control Facility permit in preparation for construction work at the site. This permit alone does not allow the City of Portland to do any ground disturbing work at the site. A DEQ-approved Contaminated Media Management Plan is required for that work can begin.

DEQ approved the City of Portland's Contaminated Media Management Plan, which provides site-specific information and guidance regarding the management of contaminated media that may be encountered during construction activities. This approval allows the City of Portland to begin ground disturbing activities at the site.

The City of Portland is also preparing a Risk Assessment that DEQ will evaluate for potential risks to occupants and workers on the site. The Risk Assessment will inform proper cleanup and reuse planning. Part of the Risk Assessment includes soil vapor testing to confirm whether or not a vapor intrusion pathway poses a risk to human health. The soil vapor testing took place in late-April 2024. Results from the testing are expected in May 2024, which will be added in the Risk Assessment.

The forthcoming Remedial Action Plan uses the conclusions from the Risk Assessment to identify any cleanup actions needed to address any risks identified. This document is also expected in May 2024. Although unlikely, the Remedial Action Plan may also include protective measures to address volatilization if the soil vapor sample results indicate that it needs to be addressed. Therefore, both the Risk Assessment and the Remedial Action Plan cannot be finalized or approved until the soil vapor results have been evaluated. Approval of these documents is needed before construction of the cleanup elements can occur.

DEQ issued the city's 1200-CA stormwater construction general permit when the Contaminated Media Management Plan was approved. The permit puts into place stormwater management and erosion control requirements during construction. DEQ required the city to obtain this permit in preparation for doing construction work at the site, but as mentioned above, the city was required to have a DEQ-approved Contaminated Media Management Plan before ground disturbing work can begin. 

Learn more about the City of Portland's plans

Decisions about how the property is used are the responsibility of the City of Portland. You can learn more about the proposed Temporary Alternative Shelter Site and the overall program by visiting the city's web pages below:


Michael Loch
Public Affairs Specialist – Northwest Region