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Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) Database Site Summary Full Report - Details for Site ID 2010, US Army COE - Bradford Island Landfill

This report shows data entered as of April 26, 2018 at 6:19:41 AM

This report contains site details, organized into the following sections: 1) Site Photos (appears only if the site has photos); 2) General Site Information; 3) Site Characteristics; 4) Substance Contamination Information; 5) Investigative, Remedial and Administrative Actions; and 6) Site Environmental Controls (i.e., institutional or engineering controls; appears only if DEQ has applied one or more such controls to the site). A key to certain acronyms and terms used in the report appears at the bottom of the page.

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Site Photos

Click to View Photo Picture Date Caption Size
View Photo 01/15/2008 Removal of electrical equipment from the Columbia River, near Bradford Island, 2002. 47 Kb
View Photo 01/15/2008 Equipment used during dredging of PCB-contaminated sediment, Oct. 2007. 152 Kb

General Site Information

Site ID: 2010 Site Name: US Army COE - Bradford Island Landfill CERCLIS No: 1002228
Address: Bonneville Lock & Dam Bonneville 
  County: Multnomah Region: Northwest
Other location information: Former landfill located at eastern tip of Bradford Island, which is the middle of three islands within the Bonneville Lock & Dam complex.
Investigation Status: Listed on CRL or Inventory
  Brownfield Site: No NPL Site: No Orphan Site: No Study Area: No
Property: Twnshp/Range/Sect: 2N , 7E , 22 Tax Lots:
  Latitude: 45.6422 deg. Longitude: -121.935 deg.  Site Size: Approx. 2 ac.
Other Site Names:

Site Characteristics

General Site Description: Bonneville Dam is located at river mile 146. The Columbia River at the Bonneville Dam is divided into three channels by two islands, Bradford Island and Cascade Island. The Bradford Island Landfill is less than an acre in size and is located at the northeastern tip of the island upstream of the dam. In addition to the landfill, investigation activities have also included a former pistol range and sandblasting operations located on the eastern third of Bradford Island.
Site History: The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers maintained an unregulated landfill at teh eatern tip of Bradford Island for approximately 40 years until 1983.
Contamination Information: (GMW 2/26/97) During a 1996 internal environmental audit of Bonneville Dam, the Corps determined that this former unregulated landfill, which closed in about 1983, could pose threats to human health and the environment. Operated for a period of about 40 years, the landfill is thought to have been used for the disposal of domestic refuse; switchgear and cables; oil & grease; scrap metals, mercury vapor lamps; and possibly pesticide residues. The Corps conducted initial soil, groundwater and sediment investigation in August and September 1998. VOCs were detected in groundwater; petroleum, metals, PCBs, and pesticides were detected in soil. (4/19/00 MJM/VCP) During a groundwater seep survey in March 2000, the USACE contrator found a large (approx. 35 lbs) light ballast in the river near the edge of the landfill. A second ballast was subsequently found by USACE staff on the island/landfill slope above the river. Both ballasts were intact. Testing showed that they contained PCBs. (1/19/01 MJM/VCP) The USACE conducted a sonar and diver suvey of the river bottom adjacent to the landfill. Three areas of debris were identified which included a number of pieces of electrical equipment. Representative pieces (capacitors, ballasts, and lightning arrestors) were recovered by divers and tested for PCBs. All electrical equipment tested contained PCBs with typical concentrations ranging between 8 - 12 mg/kg. One recovered capacitor contained residual oil containing 200,000 mg/kg PCBs. (5/7/01 MJM/VCP) In December 2000, divers recovered approximately 60 electrical items from the eastern-most debris area. Recovered items included one capacitor, post insulators, lightning arrestors and electrical panels. Sediment samples from the eastern-most debris area contained PCB levels ranging from 0.15 to 8.3 mg/kg. (1/6/03 MJM/VCP) Additional sampling in May 2001, detected PCB levels up to 23.9 mg/kg in sediment, 3.8 mg/kg in clams, and 75.6 mg/kg in crayfish tissue.

In 2002 the USACE completed removal of PCB-containing electrical equipment disposed of in the Columbia River along the NE shore of Bradford Island. Sediments samples collected in the Spring of 2003 from the electrical equipment disposal areas detected PCBs (Aroclor 1254) up to 690 mg/kg. Lower levels of PCBs, generally less than 2 mg/kg were detected upstream of the dam spillway along the north shore and along the east and southeastern portions of Bradford Island.

Manner and Time of Release:
Hazardous Substances/Waste Types: Petroleum hydrocarbons, metals, PCBs, VOCs, and pesticides.
Pathways: The boundaries of the landfill abut the Columbia River, along the northern and eastern edge of Bradford Island. Primary pathways for contamination are landfill soil-to-surface water, groundwater-to-surface water, and ecological effects from contaminated sediment. Additionally, there may be at least five domestic/community wells within 0.5 mile of the landfill - one of these wells, located within 0.25 mile of the landfill, supplies drinking water to the Bradford Island Visitor Center. This well is about 185 feet deep.
Environmental/Health Threats: Ecological receptors in the Columbia River and a drinking water well on Bradford Island are the primary targets for possible contamination originating from the site. Based on the levels of PCBs detected in local clams and crayfish, the Oregon Department of Human Resources issued an advisory to avoid harvesting and eating shellfish and crayfish between Bonneville Dam and Ruckel Creek at river mile 147.
Status of Investigative or Remedial Action: Site Assessment recommends a remedial investigation to determine what contaminants may be present in the landfill, the degree to which they may be migrating, and the potential for such contaminants to affect human health and the environment. Further state action at the site is a medium priority. (3/31/98 MJM/VCP) US Army COE signed letter agreement with the Voluntary Cleanup Program to perform a Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation on February 18, 1997. (8/26/98 MJM/VCP) A Site Investigation workplan to sample landfill soils, groundwater and adjacent Columbia River sediments was completed in early August 1998. Monitoring wells were constructed and test pits excavated at the site in mid-August 1998. (7/19/99 MJM/VCP) Results of this investigation are documented in a December 1998 site inspection report. (9/27/00 MJM/VCP) A second phase of investigation was conducted in the fall of 1999. A workplan for stabilizing the north landfill slope and pulling landfill debris away from the Columbia River is in preparation. (1/19/01 MJM/VCP) The USACE initiated recovery efforts in December 2000 to remove all electrical equipment from the river and collect initial sediment samples for PCB testing. (5/7/01 MJM/VCP) Recovery was not completed because of weather. Given the observations during December 2000 recovery efforts, US Fish and Wildlife requested additional site characterization to determine if engineering controls will be needed to prevent the dispersion of sediment before recovery work resumes. In May 2001, additional sediment samples were collected along with clams, crayfish, and water-column samples. Semi-permeable membrane devices were also deployed to sample available PCBs in the water column. (11/21/01 MJM/VCP) The USACE initiated final characterization activities in the landfill in September 2001. Activities include additional soil and debris characterization, construction of groundwater monitoring wells and geophysical surveys. (1/6/03 MJM/VCP) Based on these test results, it was concluded that the remaining electrical equipment is probably an active source of PCBs to the environment and a work plan to remove the equipment was agreed upon. The remaining electrical equipment was removed in February/March 2002.

(4/9/04 MJM/VCP) In the spring of 2003, the USACE collected a large number of sediment and clam sampels above the Dam following a DEQ approved work plan. The purpose of this sampling was to:
1. Determine the post equipment removal level of PCBs in the disposal area sediments.
2. Determine the nature and extent of PCBs in sediment above the Dam.
3. Quantify the level of PCBs in sediment, if any, entering the forebay above the Dam from upriver.
4. Screen areas above the dam for PCBs where sedimetn from the disposal areas may have been eroded and redeposited.

Analysis of sediment and clam tissue samples is being performed in three phases. Phase I and II sediment analyis and Phase III clam tissue analysis. The final report summarizing all of the sample data is scheduled to be completed in August 2004. Analysis of Phase I and II sediment data, completed in April 2004, showed the following:

1. Sediment samples collected 3,000 to 4,000 feet upstream from Bradford Island did not contain detectible levels of PCBs.
2. Sediment adjacent to Bradford Island is impacted by PCBs upstream of the Bonneville Dam Spillway along the north shore of Bradford Island and along the east and southeastern portions of the island.
3. Except for the south side of Bradford Island, PCBs were generally not detected in areas identified as potential deposition points above the Dam for sediment eroded from equipment disposal areas.

PCB levels in sediment adjacent to Bradford Island are high enough that the Corps and DEQ are evaluating options for an interim cleanup (e.g., sediment removal and capping).

(1-15-08, B. Schwarz) In October 2007, sediment contaminated with PCBs was dredged from the bottom of the river in the areas where the electrical equipment was found.

(April 7, 2009, Bob Schwarz) The risk assessment for this site is underway, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010. It will evaluate risk associated with in-water and upland contamination sources.

(July 31, 2013, Bob Schwarz) The Army Corps of Engineers sampled sediment, clams and smallmouth bass in August 2011. The purpose of this sampling was to assess the effectiveness of the sediment dredging conducted in 2007. These results indicate that the sediment dredging was not sufficient to address this problem.

Nineteen bass were collected in the forebay (near Bradford Island) and 19 bass were collected in an upstream reference area. Six clam samples and seven sediment samples were collected from the forebay.

These results showed that, as in the past, PCBs are the primary contaminants of concern. Of the 19 fish samples collected from the forebay, PCB concentrations in four of the fish were extremely high, up to 183 parts per million. A safe level is considered less than one part per billion. The other 15 fish from the forebay had PCB concentrations ranging from 15 to 277 parts per billion. These concentrations are above the safe level, but are similar to PCB concentrations in the 19 fish found in the reference area.

Work at this site was delayed because the Corps had no funding for the site in fiscal year 2012. Funding has been restored. The Army Corps is conducting a feasibility study to identify and evlauate additional remedial measures to reduce contaminant levels in the Columbia River near Bradford Island.

Data Sources:

Substance Contamination Information

Substance Media Contaminated Concentration Level Date Recorded
LEAD Soil 7140 ppm 12/1/1998
OIL - WASTE Soil 20200 ppm 12/1/1998
PCBs Soil 2.25 ppm 12/1/1998
TETRACHLOROETHANE,1,1,2,2- Groundwater 6.6 ppb 12/1/1998

Investigative, Remedial and Administrative Actions

Action Start Date Compl. Date Resp. Staff Lead Pgm
SITE EVALUATION 06/28/1996 04/01/1997 Gil Wistar SAS
BASIC PRELIMINARY ASSESSEMENT 02/18/1997 12/31/1998 Matt McClincy VCS
SITE INVESTIGATION 02/18/1997 12/31/1998 Matt McClincy VCS
Site added to database 02/26/1997 02/26/1997 Gil Wistar SAS
Insufficient information to list 04/01/1997 04/01/1997 Gil Wistar SAS
Remedial Investigation recommended (RI) 04/01/1997 04/01/1997 Gil Wistar SAS
VCS Waiting List 05/14/1997 11/06/1997 Michael Rosen VCS
NEGOTIATIONS 11/06/1997 11/06/1997 Matt McClincy VCS
Letter Agreement 11/06/1997 11/06/1997 Matt McClincy VCS
Site added to CERCLIS 06/30/1998 06/30/1998
REMEDIAL INVESTIGATION  (Primary Action) 01/01/1999   Robert Schwarz VCS
Proposal for Confirmed Release List recommended 09/02/1999 09/02/1999 Matt McClincy VCS
Proposal for Inventory recommended 09/02/1999 09/02/1999 Matt McClincy VCS
Facility proposed for Confirmed Release List 11/09/1999 11/09/1999 Kimberlee Van Patten VCS
Facility proposed for Inventory 11/09/1999 11/09/1999 Kimberlee Van Patten VCS
Facility placed on Confirmed Release List 02/08/2000 02/08/2000 Kimberlee Van Patten VCS
Facility placed on Inventory 02/08/2000 02/08/2000 Kimberlee Van Patten VCS
No Further Remedial Action Planned under Federal program 06/19/2000 06/19/2000
REMOVAL 02/14/2002 03/14/2002 Matt McClincy

Key to Certain Acronyms and Terms in this Report:

You may be able to obtain more information about this site by contacting Robert Schwarz at the Northwest regional office or via email at If this does not work, you may contact Gil Wistar at (503) 229-5512, or via email at or contact the Northwest regional office.