The Washington State Department of Ecology is directing and funding an investigation and cleanup of smelter-related metals contamination on Northport’s City Park and boat launch waterfront area.
The project area includes all permanently and seasonally exposed areas of the Columbia River bank and shore directly next to the Northport Town Park and boat launch. From the river, this area is between Smelter Rock downstream to the Northport Highway 25 Bridge, and is associated with the historic Le Roi Smelter that was located at and around the park. The area remains polluted by smelter wastes that were dumped and dispersed along the shore.
Our goal is to assess options for protecting people and restoring the near-shore and shoreline environment next to the park. We look forward to working with local government, businesses, and residents during the investigation and cleanup process to understand your concerns and the community’s vision for the waterfront.
The draft Remedial Investigation was completed in October 2019. We will hold a comment period for it when the draft Feasibility Study Report that lays out cleanup options is also ready. We are planning to finish developing cleanup options by late 2020.
During the feasibility study work, we are planning to hold a public meeting to share the investigation results and start discussing options for cleanup. The purpose of having a public meeting prior to public comment on the reports is we’d like to incorporate the community’s Town Park shore improvement and development ideas into the cleanup options.
The information in the draft Remedial Investigation Report will help Ecology understand where contamination exists and develop options for cleaning it up.
However, based on past investigations in this area, we know several metals are present in smelter wastes in this area:
Metal levels known to be present do not pose an immediate, acute human health risk. However, long-term exposure may increase the risk of certain health problems. You can take simple actions to protect yourself and your family from exposure.
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