Owners of Reynolds smelter done with cleanup, EPA rules

Owners of Reynolds smelter done with cleanup, EPA rules

Postby pfpcnews » Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:05 am

Owners of Reynolds smelter done with cleanup, EPA rules

Alcoa - Groundwater is still off limits for decades on the site, proposed for an industrial park

The Oregonian - October 03, 2006


TROUTDALE -- The final order on the cleanup of the old Reynolds Metals aluminum smelter site is in.

The verdict: Owners are done cleaning the soil at the Superfund site, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ruled.

However, groundwater there is still contaminated, primarily with fluoride, and that cleanup will continue for about two decades, the agency said.

The Port of Portland plans to buy the 700-acre site north of the Troutdale airport from Alcoa Inc. to build an industrial park.

Years of contamination from the World War II-era aluminum plant put the land on the federal Superfund list in 1994, starting a lengthy removal of contaminants including fluoride, cyanide, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, PCBs and diesel fuel.

Alcoa continued the cleanup after buying Reynolds Metals in 1999. It closed and demolished the plant and began preparing the site for resale. The demolition prompted a new round of environmental investigations of newly accessible areas.

The land is expected to remain industrial, so the EPA ruled that it must be cleaned enough to avoid an unacceptable cancer risk to a worker -- a lower standard than if the site were to be used for homes.

The final cleanup order, issued last week:

Makes sure the site won't be used for housing.

Prevents the use of groundwater until it is clean, about 20 years from now. The order permanently restricts the use of groundwater from one part of the property, which remains tainted.

Continues the operation of wells to extract and contain groundwater.

Monitors the areas that were capped to seal off contamination.

EPA and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will continue to oversee the groundwater cleanup.

For more information, visit http://yosemite.epa.gov/r10/cleanup.nsf/sites/reynolds

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