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Portland Harbor Superfund Site

Site summary

Portland Harbor is a heavily industrialized stretch of the Willamette River, extending from Portland’s Broadway Bridge to Sauvie Island. Due to decades of industrial activities, some of the sediment (or mud) in the river and along the riverbank is contaminated with pollutants.

The primary threat to human health is eating contaminated fish that live in this stretch of the river, such as bass, carp and catfish. It’s safe to swim in the Willamette most times of year.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency listed Portland Harbor as a Superfund Site in 2000. EPA, DEQ, tribal governments, community groups, companies, and other organization are working to investigate and clean up contamination in Portland Harbor.

EPA is the lead agency responsible for investigating and cleaning up contaminated sediment in the riverbed. DEQ is the agency responsible for working with property owners to investigate and clean up properties along the riverbank, called “upland sites.”

Current news

EPA proposes changes to the Portland Harbor Superfund Cleanup Plan

EPA released a proposed Explanation of Significant Differences for a 60-day public comment period closing Dec. 21, 2018. The proposed changes are based on over five years of research that showed a chemical in the plan is less toxic than previously thought.

Find more information on EPA’s Portland Harbor page. 

EPA issues Portland Harbor Record of Decision

On Jan. 6, 2017, EPA released its Record of Decision for Portland Harbor that presents the cleanup remedy for the in-river portion of the Superfund Site. The State of Oregon concurred with EPA’s Record of Decision.

Additional information and resources

Your DEQ Online Project Number: 2068


Project Manager: David Lacey 
Phone:  503-229-5354

Portland Harbor In-Water Coordinator: Sarah Greenfield
Phone: 503-229-5245