Portland Harbor NPL Site

State TrusteeFederal TrusteeAO Bureau

Also Known As


Incident Type

chemical and oil



Case Status



Willamette River


Contaminants of Concern Include

Affected DOI Resources Include

Migratory Birds, Threatened and Endangered Species, Anadromous Fish

Financial Summary

Restoration Funds Collected:


*Restoration Funds Allocated:


*Restoration Funds Remaining:


* Restoration Funds can contain multiple settlements/projects. All collections are placed in interest bearing accounts. For detailed information on individual settlements/ projects please visit: NRDAR Status Report

Case Description

Beginning in the early 1900s, industrial and municipal activities along the lower Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, released and continue to release dozens of contaminants into the river and surrounding environment. Substances released include, but are not limited to, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heavy metals, butyltins, insecticides (e.g., DDT and its breakdown products DDD and DDE), herbicides, dioxins, furans, and semi-volatile organic compounds. Many of these contaminants harm the environment for many decades. Even small amounts of these contaminants can be hazardous to fish and wildlife. Larger animals like bald eagle and river otter that have eaten contaminated smaller animals (e.g., fish) can build up high levels of contamination from these prey items. In 2000, the area of the lower Willamette River known as Portland Harbor was declared a federal Superfund site. The Portland Harbor Superfund study area extends from river mile 1.9 (between the Multnomah Channel and the Columbia River) to river mile 11.8 (near the Broadway Bridge in Portland). The EPA is the lead agency responsible for remedial actions for contaminated river sediments at the site and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is the lead agency responsible for remedial actions in the upland portions of the site, focusing on source control to reduce the amount of contamination entering the river. Natural resources potentially affected by the release of hazardous substances at the Portland Harbor Superfund site include migratory birds, mammals, and anadromous fish, including species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. Migratory birds potentially impacted by hazardous substance releases at the site include fish-eating species (e.g., bald eagle, osprey, and mergansers), swallows, and shorebirds. The river provides a critical migratory corridor for both juvenile and adult anadromous fish and juvenile rearing habitat for several anadromous fish species, including endangered stocks of Pacific salmon. The area holds great importance to Tribes as a natural and cultural resource. The lower Willamette River also is a popular area for recreation, including fishing and boating. The Portland Harbor Natural Resource Trustee Council began a cooperative natural resource damage assessment with potentially responsible parties in 2008, and that cooperative process is ongoing. The Trustee Council concurrently is engaged in restoration planning and implementation.

Case Documents

 Document TypeDocument NameDocument Date


 Factsheet Factsheet 2009 12/01/2009
 Factsheet Factsheet 2012 07/01/2012


 FPA Funding and Participation Agreement 11/21/2008


 Assessment Plan Assessment Plan 06/01/2010
 Study Report Juvenile Salmon POP Exposure Assessment  
 Study Report Lamprey Study 08/21/2011
 NOI Notice of Intent to perform injury assessment 01/03/2018
 Study Report Osprey Egg Study 03/07/2011
 Assessment Plan Portland Harbor Superfund Site Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan, Addendum 2: Phase 3 Damage Assessment Plan 10/04/2018
 PAS Preassessment Screen and Determination 03/23/2007
 Study Report Progress Report Osprey Egg Study 08/26/2009


 Consent Decree Consent Decree (Linnton Plywood) 06/25/2015
 Settlement Agreement Settlement Agreement (Smurfit-Stone) 01/06/2011


 Restoration Plan Restoration Plan 02/21/2017
 Restoration Plan Restoration Planning Process & Criteria 04/01/2009


 Powerpoint Presentations NRDA at Portland Harbor 03/11/2008

Map View

Case Contact

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office

Portland, OR | (503) 231-6179 | http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/

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