There are two Superfund sites within the Portland Harbor, the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, and the McCormick and Baxter Superfund Site.
The Portland Harbor Superfund site was confirmed a Superfund site in 2000, due to decades of industrial pollution. Contamination was found in the water and sediment and is undergoing clean-up. You can read more about the site on the Environmental and Protection agency website.
The McCormick and Baxter Superfund Site is a former creosote wood treatment facility located on the bank of the Willamette River, within the borders of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. Contamination was confirmed in soil, groundwater, and sediment. You can read more about the site on the Environmental and Protection agency website.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, along with other contaminants, are above levels of concern at each site. Below are some additional resources related to Portland Harbor and the two Superfund sites.
Characterizing PAH contamination within the Portland Harbor
Our researchers have been characterizing contamination within Portland Harbor for many years using passive sampling devices. Our Center has conducted sampling upriver,
downriver, and within the Portland Harbor during wet and dry seasons. Click on the different locations to learn more about the sampling area, and the years in which sampling was conducted. The river miles are approximate and rounded to the nearest half mile as exact coordinates may have changed from year to year depending on local conditions during the sampling event.
Portland Harbor Superfund Site Water Quality Screening
Working with the Portland Harbor Community Coalition (PHCC), researchers from Oregon State University have sampled six sites in and around the Portland Harbor Superfund Site each month from June – November 2022. Over 200 samples were retrieved and are being analyzed using non-targeted screening methods. This method acts like a ‘scan’ and can look for thousands of chemicals.
• You can read the Winter 2022 Study Update here.
Cathedral Park Beach & Portland Harbor Superfund Site
Cathedral Park is close to a part of the river with contaminated sediment. Our Research Translation group worked to develop a one-page infographic detailing the health risks associated with the area.