Riverkeeper releases two fact sheets on the stalled-out Columbia River toxic cleanup site.
Have you heard of Bradford Island?
One of the Columbia River’s most contaminated areas you've never heard of is Bradford Island, which is located at the Bonneville Dam Complex 30 minutes upriver from Portland.
Decades of pollution by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps)—and languishing cleanup—threatens people’s health, fish, and wildlife. And pollution along the Columbia River has a disproportionate impact on people of color. For example, studies show that Native Americans in the Columbia Basin eat significantly more locally-caught fish and shellfish that non-tribal members.
For years, Yakama Nation has been a leader in the fight to clean up Bradford Island and other toxic sites along the Columbia River. Enrolled members of the Yakama Nation exercise Treaty-reserved rights at their usual and accustomed fishing places on the Columbia River and its tributaries including fishing sites near and at Bradford Island.
The Corps and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have a voluntary cleanup agreement to evaluate and clean up various sources of contaminants on the island. The last time the Corps engaged in new cleanup: 2007. Subsequent reports and sampling concluded that PCB concentrations in resident fish remain extremely high. The area is also contaminated with lead, mercury, pesticides, and petroleum chemicals.
The Corps and DEQ plan to decide on critical upland cleanup actions in 2019 and 2020—and the public can weigh-in during public comment periods and at hearings. In future years, the Corps will make decisions about in-river cleanup.
Why should I care? Who is responsible for the pollution and cleanup? What is the government doing to fix the problem?
Save the Date: Tuesday, August 6, 2019, doors open at 6 p.m., speakers from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. in Cascade Locks, Oregon.
Tell the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality you support cleanup at one of the Columbia River’s most contaminated areas: Bradford Island.