The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will require Evraz Oregon Steel Mills to remove contaminated soil along the Willamette River bank near its North Portland plant.

DEQ announced Evraz must dig down one to five feet below the surface to remove soil contaminated with PCBs and metals, and cover the site with river rock. Evraz also must remove contaminated soil in steeper portions of the river bank that are susceptible to erosion, and cap and stabilize the river bank using “geotextile” fabric and rock.

DEQ determined that the contamination is causing more toxicity among aquatic organisms and is bioaccumulating in fish tissue. The contaminated soil is subject to erosion into the river.

The plant is located at 14400 N. Rivergate Blvd., on the east bank of the Willamette opposite from Sauvie Island.

Evraz will begin implementing the cleanup in the spring of 2015, if it can obtain the necessary permits.

DEQ and others have been investigating past contamination at the site since 2001. The property is located within the Portland Harbor Superfund Site study area. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is overseeing cleanup of the polluted river bottom in a 10-mile stretch of the river, mostly stemming from decades of industrial discharges into the river.

DEQ has jurisdiction for contamination of land masses alongside the river.

For a full report on the Evraz cleanup:

Steve Law can be reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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