Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ Home/ Land Quality/ Environmental Cleanup/ ECSI/ Site Summary

Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) Database Site Summary Report - Details for Site ID 865, Salem Riverfront Park Project

This report shows data entered as of December 1, 2021 at 4:36:32 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.

Note: DEQ may have posted online documents related to this site. If so, they would be available for viewing or downloading on ECSI Summary Page

Go to DEQ's Facility Profiler to see a site map as well is information on what other DEQ programs may be active at this site.

Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) Database Site Summary Report - Details for Site ID 865, Salem Riverfront Park Project

General Site Information

Site ID: 865 Site Name: Salem Riverfront Park Project CERCLIS No: 981762875
Address: Chemeketa and Water Streets Salem 97301
  County: Marion Region: Western
Other location information: SW intersection of Chemeketa Street and Water Street. West of Front Street, between Center Street and Pringle Creek. City blocks 61-64.
Investigation Status: Listed on CRL or Inventory
Brownfield Site: Yes NPL Site: No Orphan Site: No Study Area: No
Property: Twnshp/Range/Sect: 7S , 3W , 22 Tax Lots:
  Latitude: 44.9431 deg. Longitude: -123.042 deg.  Site Size: 18 acres
Other Site Names:
  Salem Gas Manufacturing Site
  MGP

Site Characteristics

General Site Description: The 18-acre site borders the Willamette River in downtown Salem. The City intends to build a park at the site. Much of the site is covered with up to 40 feet of fill material. Groundwater generally occurs in the underlying silt, and flows towards the river. Contamination related to past site activities has been detected in site fill material, groundwater and river sediments. Areas of contamination fail TCLP for leachable lead and benzene.
Site History: The project area has had a variety of residential, commercial, and industrial uses since 1880. These include sawmills, lumber yards, iron works, junkyards, a manufactured gas plant (MGP), paper manufacturing, and meat packing. All structures have been removed and the site is vacant.
Contamination Information: (7/6/1998 M5M/VCS) The site is underlain by fill with abundant debris. Zones of coal tar wastes, oily material, diesel, and lead-contaminated soil were identified in the fill. Below-ground structures from the MGP were present in part of the area. A gravel-tar mix covers a portion of the site at a depth of six feet. Groundwater appears to be impacted from previous site activities. Willamette River sediments are also affected, but based on bioassay results, do not impact aquatic life. The City of Salem signed a Letter Agreement with DEQ's Voluntary Cleanup Program in March 1993. An intergovernmental Voluntary Cleanup Agreement was signed in February 1994. The City began a site-wide Remedial Investigation in 1993.
Manner and Time of Release: Manufactured gas plant wastes (PAHs, tars, etc.) discharged to surface or buried in place. Lead-contaminated soil appears to have resulted from the recycling and disposal of lead-acid batteries on-site. Diesel release appears to have resulted from LUSTs. Pulp and paper plant releases (acids and bases) likely occurred during operation.
Hazardous Substances/Waste Types: Ferrocyanides, PAHs, tars, benzene, lead, diesel, acids and caustics.
Pathways:
Environmental/Health Threats: DEQ site closure includes a deed restriction, indicating that without such a control, the site would present unacceptable risks to human health or the environment. The deed restriction requires the site's listing on DEQ's Confirmed Release List and Inventory.
Status of Investigative or Remedial Action: (7/6/98 M5M/VCS) The RI report was submitted in September 1994, and after revisions to address DEQ comments, accepted as final in December 1994. A draft Baseline Risk Assessment was received in September 1994. DEQ received a conceptual Feasibility Study (FS) for the northern part of the site November 1994. Several intermediate draft versions of the Phase 1 (Northern) FS were reviewed by DEQ in January and February 1995, before a final FS was approved in March. Approvable risk calculations for the Phase 1 portion of the site were received during February 1995. A DEQ Staff Report with a recommended remedial action for the northern portion of the site was approved and issued for public comment in April 1995. A public meeting was held and public comment addressed. A Record of Decision (ROD) for the northern portion of the site was signed by the Director in May 1995. The ROD was immediately implemented. To date, excavation with off-site treatment or disposal has taken place at the Junkyard & MGP areas. DEQ approved the remedial action and implementation of deed restrictions in early 1996. Additional Phase 2 (southern area) field work was conducted in May 1995. A Feasibility Study for the Phase 2 area was received and approved in March 1996. A recommended Remedial Action for the Phase 2 area was issued in May 1996 for public comment. No comments were received and the ROD was immediately implemented. Documentation of the Phase 2 remedial action is pending. Groundwater monitoring is ongoing. (2/10/1999 M5M/VCS) DEQ approval of Remedial Action Work and Deed Restrictions complete. Project closeout underway. No Further Action is pending final payment.

(1/28/05 M2C/VCP) The City of Salem maintains the soil cap at the River Front Park. The City contacts DEQ whenever there is construction done (i.e., park improvements) at the park.

(7/16/08 M2C/VCP) The City of Salem contacted DEQ about intalling a Tom McCall sculpture in the Riverfront Park area. The sculpture will not be located in the soil cap so no special precautions are necessary.

Data Sources: Voluntary Cleanup Program files (Salem Riverfront Park Phases 1 and 2) located in DEQ's Eugene office.

Substance Contamination Information

Substance Media Contaminated Concentration Level Date Recorded
CYANIDE (AS ION) Soil  
LEAD Soil  
PETROLEUM Soil  
POLYAROMATIC HYDROCARBONS (PAH) Soil CPAH  

Investigative, Remedial and Administrative Actions

Action Start Date Compl. Date Resp. Staff Lead Pgm
No Further Action (Conditional)  (Primary Action) 01/15/1999 01/15/1999 Cheryl Woodall VCS
View Full Report Showing Action History

Site Environmental Controls

Control Description Begin Date End Date Last Reviewed By Last Review Date
Use Restriction Other 09/29/1997   Cheryl Woodall and Mary Camarata 06/03/2003
  Comments: (8/6/03 M2C/VCS) Institutional Controls: deed restrict the use of the site to a municipal park, prohibit the development of groundwater at the site for beneficial uses, and restrict invasive work in areas where there is remnant contamination.
Cap, engineered 08/06/1997   Cheryl Woodall and Mary Camarata 06/03/2003
  Comments: (8/6/03 M2C/VCS) Engineering Control: containment, based on capping with a minimum of two feet of clean fill soil, of areas with residual soil contamination above site-specific cleanup goals at the former acid plant site. Semi-annual groundwater monitoring from seleced wells, and annual inspections of the protective soil cover in all areas. Review of the engineering controls is done by the City of Salem. The City of Salem contacts DEQ when they do any work over the protective cap.

Key to Certain Acronyms and Terms in this Report:

For more information on this site contact the Western regional office.