how dirty is the willamette river

Resident fish will have higher levels than migratory species. It is all here. As the name implies, the facility was mostly used for treating railroad ties, but some of the byproducts of that treatment -- including copper arsenate, creosote, and pentachlorophenol -- ended up in wastewater ponds, which contaminated the surrounding soil and groundwater. According to the report, many pesticides that are now banned were found in higher concentrations. Where to vote. The Willamette River is contaminated with toxic chemicals and metals, and in a new study the Department of Environmental Quality said it poses a threat for human health and aquatic life. You can read the EPA's full assessment of Triangle Park here. The site is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The designation, if approved by officials in Washington, threatens Portland Harbor’s competitiveness as a major shipping port. Journalist Tom McCall produced a television documentary on the river so compelling that it helped propel him to the governorship in 1966. In 2005, cleanup at the site -- which included excavating large amounts of polluted soil, installing a below-ground containment wall and and sediment cap to keep the remaining soil in place -- was completed, but the site still receives a review from the EPA every 5 years, the most recent of which can be read here. 0000001791 00000 n Since the 1930s, Portlanders had railed about the growing filth of the Willamette, where pulp and steel mills sent globs of sludge floating downriver and raw sewage left fish unable to breathe. In operation from 1944 to 1991, the former creosote and wood treatment plant left the soil, groundwater, and sediment around the facility contaminated with arsenic, chromium, and a number of other toxic materials. Part of the reason that our water doesn't get that bad is the fact that it is a river and is continually sweeping out to sea - we aren't next to a lake. 0000002806 00000 n 0000004241 00000 n “If Oregon is the environmental leader in the U.S., and the environmental leader in the world is the U.S., in a lot of ways, a lot of hope for what happens in the world is the Willamette. The campaign is aimed at reversing the impact of decades of public health warnings in an eco-savvy city with a hard-earned green reputation. The Willamette River in Portland is safe for swimming and other recreational uses at most times of the year. The Columbia River received the most cancer causing toxic chemical discharges between 1990 and 1994, at 1.39 million pounds, followed by the Quinnipiac River in Connecticut, the Genesee River in New York, the Mississippi River, and the Thames River. "I also believe we have a chance to reshape our spirit.". h�bbbd`b``j � 4I � 0000015637 00000 n “The everyday person can really have an impact in improving water quality in the Willamette, purely by being selective about the kind of products they purchase,” Ross said. Facts About the Willamette River.

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