The Superfund Study Area includes Portland Harbor, an
urban and industrial reach of the lower Willamette River
located immediately downstream of downtown Portland and
extending almost to the confluence with the Columbia River.
Portland Harbor is heavily industrialized with numerous
manufacturing, shipbuilding, petroleum storage and distribution,
metals salvaging, and electrical power generation activities.
The area has been extensively modified by wetland draining,
channelization, and dredging to accommodate a navigation
channel for shipping and other industrial uses.
Public and private outfalls located on both banks of the river discharge stormwater. There are substantial
agricultural, industrial, and municipal activities upstream
of the harbor. State-of-the-art waste control systems
are now used by many along the river and most of the sediment
contamination is from historic practices.