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Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) Database Site Summary Report - Details for Site ID 74, McCormick & Baxter Creosoting Co.

This report shows data entered as of September 19, 2021 at 8:12:55 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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Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) Database Site Summary Report - Details for Site ID 74, McCormick & Baxter Creosoting Co.

Site Photos
Click to View Photo Picture Date Caption Size
View Photo 03/30/1973 Aerial view of site operations, 1973. 502 Kb
View Photo 04/16/2003 Installation of sheet-pile/slurry wall to prevent subsurface contaminants from migrating to the Willamette River. 429 Kb
View Photo 04/16/2003 Overview of slurry-wall construction. 412 Kb
View Photo 06/29/2005 Aerial view of site and upland cap, June 2005 566 Kb
View Photo 07/06/2005 Installing the geomembrane to prevent downward percolation of rainwater. 402 Kb
View Photo 07/12/2005 Site overview, July 2005 405 Kb
View Photo 08/31/2004 Placement of articulated concrete block (ACB) and sand over seep area - part of the sediment capping remedy. 386 Kb

General Site Information

Site ID: 74 Site Name: McCormick & Baxter Creosoting Co. CERCLIS No: 009020603
Address: 6900 N Edgewater St. Portland 97203
  County: Multnomah Region: Northwest
Other location information:
Investigation Status: Listed on CRL or Inventory
Brownfield Site: No NPL Site: Yes Orphan Site: Yes Study Area: No
Property: Twnshp/Range/Sect: 1N , 1E , 7 Tax Lots: 62
  Latitude: 45.5797 deg. Longitude: -122.7419 deg.  Site Size: 58 acres
Other Site Names:
  Portland Harbor Sediment Study
  McCormick and Baxter

Site Characteristics

General Site Description: For more information about McCormick and Baxter, visit EPA’s web site at: https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=1000339
Site History:
Contamination Information: (3/5/2003 KGP/SRS) Between 1944 and 1969, McCormick & Baxter's wastewater was discharged directly to the Willamette River. Between 1968 and 1972, wood preservative waste residues were disposed of on-site in a waste disposal area. As a result of these and other waste-handling and disposal practices, surface soils over most of the site became contaminated with wood-treating chemicals. Creosote and oils pooled on the groundwater table, and large areas of river sediments became contaminated by creosote seeps. DEQ initiated a Remedial Investigation (RI) and Feasibility Study (FS) in 1990. Limited funding was received from M&B before the company declared bankruptcy. The investigation continued using state monies from the Orphan Site Account. The RI/FS was completed in September 1992. Selection of a final cleanup remedy for the site was delayed, pending listing of the site on the federal National Priorities List (NPL). DEQ sold off most of the site's assets in 1993, and demolished most of the on-site structures in 1994. DEQ also implemented a number of interim cleanup measures, including removing some contaminated sludges and soils, and extracting creosote from groundwater. The site was listed on the NPL in June 1994. In May 1995, DEQ revised the Feasibility Study to include site sampling data collected since 1992. DEQ and EPA issued a proposed cleanup plan for public comment in October 1995. A final Record of Decision was signed in April 1996.
Manner and Time of Release: On-site disposal, process spills, and product tank overflows during operational history from 1944 through 1991.
Hazardous Substances/Waste Types: Pentachlorophenol, creosote, copper, chromium, oil, PAHs, arsenic, dioxins.
Pathways: Prior to construction of the site remedies to contain site contaminants, exposure to contaminated soil, groundwater, and sediments in the Willamette River were human and ecological hazards. The site remedies were completed in 2005 and consist of a barrier wall to contain and isolate contaminated groundwater, an upland soil cap to prevent exposure to contaminated soil, and an armored sand cap in the Willamette River to physically and chemically isolate contaminated sediments from surface water. Groundwater is not used at or in the vicinity of the site.
Environmental/Health Threats: There are no health threats because the Record of Decision-required engineering controls and remedies for soil, sediment, and groundwater are currently protective of human health and the environment.
Status of Investigative or Remedial Action: Creosote Recovery. Automated creosote extraction and groundwater treatment was initiated in 1994 but was discontinued in 2000 because of poor creosote recovery/groundwater treatment system performance and high cost. Creosote recovery using manual pumping methods was conducted from 2000 until 2011 when DEQ and EPA determined that recovery was no long necessary at the site.

Subsurface Barrier Wall. The Record of Decision (ROD) was completed in 1996 and included a contingency remedy for groundwater in the event that the creosote recovery and groundwater treatment system could not meet the ROD remedial action objectives. An 18-acre, fully encompassiing, impermeable subsurface barrier wall (from 45 to 80 feet below ground surface) was installed in the summer of 2003 to contain and prevent cresote from impacting the Willamette River.

Upland Soil. DEQ and EPA amended the ROD in March 1998 to revise the soil remedy to require excavation and removal of previous unidentified contaminated soil (hot spot areas), then capping the entire site with two feet of clean soil. Approximately 33,000 tons of contaminated soil and debris were removed from February through May 1999. A 15-acre RCRA-type impermeable cap was also constructed within the 18-acre impermeable barrier wall. A stormwater collection system was constructed within the RCRA cap (above the impermeable HDPE liner and below ground surface) that discharges to a shoreline outfall. The entire earthen cap was seeded with native grasses, and several thousand native trees and schubs were planted on the soil cap outside the barrier wall in 2005 and 2006 to minimize erosion and reduce rainwater percolation into groundwater beneath the site.

Sediment Cap. After removing more than 1600 pilings and regrading the shoreline, a two foot thick sand cap with a one foot layer of protective armoring was constructed in 2004 and 2005 to contain 23 acres of contaminated sediment in the Willamette River. The sediment cap incorporated the placement of granular organophyllic clay (OC) in areas of potential creosote seeps, and OC reactive core mat in areas where periodic sheen was observed migrating through the cap to surface water by ebullution. Five years of post-contruction monitoring and subsequent investigations demonstrate that the sediment cap remedy is performing as designed to meet the remedial action objectives required by the ROD.
Data Sources: 1) EPA CERCLA Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation
2) 1996 Record of Decision, and and 1998 Amended Record of Decision
2) DEQ Contractor Reports (PTI, 1989-1993), E&E (1996-2007), Hart Crowser/GSI (2008-2011)
3) McCormick & Baxter Creosoting Investigation Reports (1983-1990).
4) ATSDR Public Health Assessment Report (1995)
5) 2006, 2011 and 2016 Five-Year Review Reports
6) Electronic DEQ and Project Manager files

Substance Contamination Information

Substance Media Contaminated Concentration Level Date Recorded
ARSENIC Groundwater 1,700 ppb  
ARSENIC Sediment 18 ppm  
ARSENIC Soil 25,000 ppm  
ARSENIC Surface Water 7,600 ppb  
CHROMIUM Groundwater 900 ppb  
CHROMIUM Soil 17,000 ppm  
CHROMIUM Surface Water 800 ppb  
COPPER Groundwater 5,400 ppb  
COPPER Sediment 330 ppm  
COPPER Soil 7,900 ppm  
COPPER Surface Water 15,000 ppb  
PENTACHLOROPHENOL Groundwater 8,300 ppm product  
PENTACHLOROPHENOL Sediment 1.8 mg/kg river sed  
PENTACHLOROPHENOL Soil 190,000 mg/kg  
PENTACHLOROPHENOL Surface Water 1.8 ppm river  
POLYAROMATIC HYDROCARBONS (PAH) Groundwater free product creosote  
POLYAROMATIC HYDROCARBONS (PAH) Sediment 5,000 ppm  
POLYAROMATIC HYDROCARBONS (PAH) Soil 27,500 ppm  
POLYAROMATIC HYDROCARBONS (PAH) Surface Water 350 ppb  

Investigative, Remedial and Administrative Actions

Action Start Date Compl. Date Resp. Staff Lead Pgm
OPERATION & MAINTENANCE  (Primary Action) 10/01/2013   Sarah Miller ORP
View Full Report Showing Action History

Site Environmental Controls

Control Description Begin Date End Date Last Reviewed By Last Review Date
Contamination left in place, sediment or sludge 09/26/2005   Scott Manzano (DEQ), Nancy Harney (EPA) 09/26/2011
  Comments: After removing more than 1600 pilings and regrading the shoreline, a two foot thick sand cap with a one foot layer of protective armoring was constructed in 2004 and 2005 to contain 23 acres of contaminated sediment in the Willamette River. The sediment cap incorporated the placement of granular organophyllic clay (OC) in areas of potential creosote seeps, and OC reactive core mat in areas where periodic sheen was observed migrating through the cap to surface water by ebullution. Five years of post-contruction monitoring and subsequent investigations demonstrate that the sediment cap remedy is performing as designed to meet the remedial action objectives required by the ROD.
Contamination left in place, Soil 09/26/2005   Scott Manzano (DEQ, Nancy Harney (EPA) 09/26/2011
  Comments: DEQ and EPA amended the ROD in March 1998 to revise the soil remedy to require excavation and removal of previous unidentified contaminated soil (hot spot areas), then capping the entire site with two feet of clean soil. Approximately 33,000 tons of contaminated soil and debris were removed from February through May 1999. A 15-acre RCRA-type impermeable cap was also constructed within the 18-acre impermeable barrier wall. A stormwater collection system was constructed within the RCRA cap (above the impermeable HDPE liner and below ground surface) that discharges to a shoreline outfall. The entire earthen cap was seeded with native grasses, and several thousand native trees and schubs were planted on the soil cap outside the barrier wall in 2005 and 2006 to minimize erosion and reduce rainwater percolation into groundwater beneath the site.
Hydraulic controls 07/15/2004 12/03/2012 Scott Manzano (DEQ), Nancy Harney (EPA) 09/26/2011
  Comments: Subsurface Barrier Wall. The Record of Decision (ROD) was completed in 1996 and included a contingency remedy for groundwater in the event that the creosote recovery and groundwater treatment system could not meet the ROD remedial action objectives. The majority of an 18-acre, fully encompassiing, impermeable subsurface barrier wall (from 45 to 80 feet below ground surface) was installed in the summer of 2003 (with the exception of 8 sheet piles that met refusal before acheiving design depth) to contain and prevent cresote from impacting the Willamette River. The resulting gaps were pressure grouted in July 2004.

Key to Certain Acronyms and Terms in this Report:

You may be able to obtain more information about this site by contacting Sarah Miller at the Northwest regional office or via email at sarah.miller@deq.state.or.us. If this does not work, you may contact Ximena Cruz Cuevas (503) 229-6811, or via email at ximena.cruzcuevas@deq.state.or.us or contact the Northwest regional office.