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Scappoose Bay Cleanup Work

Scappoose Bay is a tidal estuary located along the Multnomah Channel near the town of St. Helens and the confluence with the Columbia River. Industrial use in this area dates back to the early 1900s, and primarily consisted of wood product manufacturing including paper, plywood and fiberboard. Scappoose Bay is home to numerous fish and wildlife species and has become a recreational hub for a variety of water sports including boating, fishing and kayaking. The first known inhabitants of the area were the Chinookan people who lived in villages along the banks of the bay and Multnomah Channel. The Chinookans used the area for seasonal hunting, fishing and gathering. 

DEQ has been overseeing environmental investigations in Scappoose Bay and the lower Multnomah Channel for over 15 years. DEQ has identified significant levels of hazardous substances at three former industrial sites: the Armstrong World Industries fiberboard plant, Pope & Talbot creosote treating facility and Boise Cascade paper mill. More information on each of these sites is provided below.

Fish advisory at Scappoose Bay

The Oregon Health Authority has issued a health advisory regarding the amount of fish, shellfish and crayfish in Scappoose Bay and the lower Multnomah Channel that people can safely consume. OHA issues advisories when fish or shellfish tissue data verify that the levels of contaminants are above Oregon's health-based screening values.

Cleanup sites at Scappoose Bay

Read the fact sheet about the ongoing cleanup work in Scappoose Bay and the lower Multnomah Channel. Information about the status of cleanup work at each property is provided below along with a link to the property.

Visit the DEQ Storymap to learn more about cleanup work in Scappoose Bay.

History: The 175-acre property was used to manufacture a variety of wood fiber and mineral fiber building products from 1929 until the plant closed in May 2018. 

Current Status: DEQ is currently planning an Interim Removal Action Measure to excavate and restore the most highly contaminated areas of the site by 2028.

Your DEQ Online Project Number: 0091

History: The site was used for wood treating from 1912 to 1960. The Port purchased the property in 1963. The Port removed the remaining structures and filled much of the site with dredge sands between 1963 and 1973.

Current Status: The remedial investigation at the site is complete. The feasibility study evaluated a range of remedial action alternatives and was finalized in October 2022. DEQ completed the proposed plan to clean up the site in May 2023 and held a 60-day public comment period. DEQ issued the Record of Decision documenting the cleanup plan for the site on Sept. 1, 2023.

Your DEQ Online Project Number: 0959

History: Boise Cascade was a pulp and paper mill constructed in the 1920s that, until 1969, discharged its wastewater to Multnomah Channel. In 2015 the property was transferred to the City of St. Helens. Cascade Tissue Group is still leasing portions of the property for tissue paper production, although pulping operations are no longer performed at the property.

Current status: DEQ put the proposed remedy out for public notice and comment in October 2022. DEQ responded to comments received during the comment period and issued the Record of Decision in March 2023. DEQ is currently evaluating a proposed scope and schedule for remedial design. ​OfficeMax LLC is working on a Pre-Design Investigation Workplan, with an anticipated submittal in May 2024.​

Your DEQ Online Project Number: 0014

map of scappoose bay site locations