Today congress approved a bill that would send government workers back to their jobs. NPR reports that in a 285-114 vote, the House of Representatives agreed to a Senate deal that would end the 16-day stand-off, allowing Federal employees - including the 96% of EPA workers on furlough - to return to work. While some EPA employees engaged in work that directly impacts human health were allowed to stay on the job, many of Portland's eleven Superfund sites were left unattended during the furlough. In an article by Michael A. Memoli of the L.A. Times Vice President Joe Biden is said to have brought muffins and hugs to welcoming EPA employees. In this light of positive momentum, let's take a brief tour of Portland's Superfund sites, which can be found - shutdown or not - on the EPA's website.
Site Name (industry) - location - contaminants -*events,risks,etc.
Allied Plating (chrome plating)- On Columbia Slough - waste water containing heavy metals and cyanide
Columbia American Plating (zinc plating) - 3003 NW 35th Ave. - heavy metals and cyanide *fire and explosion risk
Gould Inc. (lead smelting, lead oxide production) - Doane Lake, NW Portland - lead, battery casings, 6 million gallons of acids
Grant Warehouse (precious metal recovery) - 3368 NE MLK - acids, cyanide, ether, heavy metals
Harbor Oil (oil recycling) -11535 N Force Ave. - oil waste *National Priorities List site
Industrial Chrome Plating (chrome plating) - NE 62nd and Hassalo - heavy metals and cyanide
Lacamas Explosion-Fire (pharmaceutical manufacturing) - Marine Drive - contaminated soil and catch basin debris *explosion in 2005
McCormick and Baxter (creosote wood treating) - East bank of the Willamette river - arsenic, chromium, zinc, and dioxin
Thermo Fluids (oil recycling) -6400 SE 101st - oil waste *fire in 2004
Univar (chemical distributor) -3950 NW Yeon Ave. - methylene, chloride, toluene
Portland Harbor Superfund site - The Willamette river between the Columbia slough and the Broadway bridge - PCBs, heavy metals, dioxin, pesticides *National Priorities List site
*The Portland Harbor Superfund site includes six Early Action cleanup areas listed separately on their website: Arkema, Gasco-Siltronic, River Mile 11E, Terminal 4, Triangle Park, and U.S. Moorings.