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Salem, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has selected a remedial action that would allow Northstar Development to clean up soil contaminated with an insecticide in order to build a residential development on the property in Salem.

DEQ made the decision after reviewing and responding to comments from the public. DEQ's Response to Comments and the Record of Decision are at:

The plan calls for transporting about 152,000 cubic yards of soil containing dieldrin from the site by covered trucks and using it to fill two old quarry pits at a farm at 6848 Windsor Island Road in Keizer. The dieldrin levels are below DEQ's risk standards for occupational exposure. Clean soil would be placed on top of the contaminated soils.

After the pits are filled and capped with clean soil they may be put back to crop production. A deed notice will be placed on the quarry pit property to document the placement of the dieldrin-containing soils and explain any risks it may pose if land uses ever change.

In August, DEQ extended the comment period in response to requests from the public. DEQ also allowed the developer to do some preliminary site work while a Record of Decision was pending, but told the developer not to remove soil from the site. The developer was allowed to excavate two small contaminated pockets of soil from the eastern portion of the property and store the soil on site. The contractor was also required to follow DEQ-approved dust-control and worker health and safety plans to limit exposure to dust during preliminary site work.

The development site has been farmed since the 1890s. Dieldrin, an insecticide, has been found in soil up to 30 inches below ground at levels above DEQ's residential risk standards. The dieldrin levels are below DEQ's risk standards for construction workers. The property owner, Granada Land Company, proposes to excavate and remove all soil above the residential standard before developing the property as a residential development known as Northstar.

More information on the project history can be found on DEQ's Environmental Cleanup Site Investigation database at by clicking on “Search complete ECSI database” and entering 6036 in the “Site ID” box.

Katherine Benenati, Public Affairs Specialist, Eugene, 541-686-7997,


Environment & Energy