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Wed Oct 11, 2017, 05:48 AM

$1.05 billion Willamette River Superfund cleanup faces delay after EPA revises plan, state says

The Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to either delay, or unravel, the long-sought plan to clean up a contaminated 10-mile stretch of the Willamette River in Portland, according to state and local officials and environmental advocates.

Gov. Kate Brown and Portland elected officials say the EPA took the unusual step last week of carving out a separate and confidential process to test certain areas of the river for a baseline level of contamination. The agency is doing so without including the state Department of Environmental Quality or the city of Portland, which have been involved in the cleanup process since its beginning.

They fear that means the federal government is revisiting decisions that were already made and agreed upon after a nearly two-decade process. The EPA did not respond to a call or email requesting comment.

Local leaders say they are stunned by the new direction, which comes nine months after the EPA released its $1.05 billion cleanup plan. That blueprint was the culmination of 17 years of research and collaboration with some 150 businesses and entities that share responsibility for polluting the river over the past century.

Read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2017/10/105_billion_willamette_river_s.html

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