Facility Site ID: 96239 Cleanup Site ID: 14874

  • Site Status

  • Cleanup Started

Related Information

  • Dirt Alert program - Industrial air emissions and pesticides used in farming have polluted large areas of soil with arsenic and lead. Our Dirt Alert program provides information on how you can protect yourself and your family.

Cleanup Construction Starts Feb. 20

Construction is scheduled to begin Tuesday, February 20, 2024. Temporary closure of Park Road, the Town Park, and the boat ramp and waterfront will begin on that date.

Ecology is coordinating with the Northport Mayor on the temporary closure and working to accommodate the community’s plans to use the park and waterfront.

Project Overview

Looking north at the waterfront toward the boat launch
Looking north at the waterfront toward the boat launch

We are directing and funding an investigation and cleanup of smelter-related metals contamination on Northport’s waterfront area next to the Town Park, using funds from the Eastern Washington Clean Sites Initiative

The project area is permanently and seasonally exposed areas of the Columbia River bank and shore next to the park and around the 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. The area remains polluted by smelter wastes that were dumped and spread along the shore.

Our goals are protecting people and restoring the shoreline environment next to the park. We will continue to work with local government, businesses, and residents during the cleanup process to understand your concerns and the community’s vision for the waterfront. We welcome your input during and outside of comment periods. 

Engineering design for cleanup complete, project beginning February 2024

Ecology held a public comment period for the draft 100% Engineering Design Report August 22 through October 5, 2023. The report provides further details about how the Cleanup Action Plan will be completed, such as project sequencing, site staging and hauling, stormwater management, yardage estimates, and public access improvement plans following cleanup. You can learn more in the public notice we mailed to the community. We responded to comments from one person and three organizations.

Six companies submitted bids for the cleanup. The winning bidder is Versatile Industries, Inc. of Ione. 

Cleanup plan

We held a comment period on the draft Cleanup Action Plan May 2 through June 1, 2022. We proposed to remove and cap contamination, and encourage recreation in cleaned up areas. We will plan work near the water when levels are lowest and in stages that will not risk impacts to the site or Columbia River due to rising water. Excavated soil, sediment (beach sand and gravel), and slag (smelter waste) will be taken to a permitted landfill for disposal. The estimated cost of cleanup is $10.5-million.

You can learn more in the public notice that was mailed to the community and our slides from the online public meeting we held May 17. We responded to comments from six people

We reviewed the actions described in our Cleanup Action Plan using the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist, and decided they won’t negatively affect people or the environment. We held a public comment period August 8 through 22, 2022, and didn't receive any comments.

We decided the project will not have negative impacts because the activities are minimal and temporary. Measures to address potential impacts include:

  • Controlling erosion by installing silt fencing along the shoreline, covering stockpiles (if any) with plastic sheeting, maintenance to address rutting or rill development, infill planting, and limiting vehicle traffic.
  • Controlling dust by wetting down exposed areas, covering truck loads, and monitoring transportation routes.
  • Limiting vehicle idling times to reduce emissions.
  • Working along the shoreline when the Columbia River levels are low to avoid working in or over water.
  • Protecting workers with site-specific safety protocols and appropriate personal protective equipment.
Contamination and cleanup options reports published

We held a comment period on the draft Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) May 3 through June 2, 2021. The RI explains the extent and locations of contaminants, and the FS evaluates cleanup options. You can learn more in the public notice that was mailed to the community and our slides from the online public meeting we held May 19. We responded to four sets of comments on the RI/FS.

Beach sampling complete

We held a comment period March 13 - April 11, 2019, for the Remedial Investigation (RI) Work Plan and related SEPA documents. Learn more about the investigation in the notice that was mailed to the community. We responded to comments from two people and thank them for their input.

Protect Your Family From Metals In Soil

The information in the draft Remedial Investigation Report showed the following metals were found most frequently throughout the site at levels posing a risk to human health and the environment: Metal levels 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.
Public Information 11
State Environmental Policy Act 3
Technical Reports 5
Document Title Document Date Document Type
100% Engineering Design Report: Northport Waterfront 8/15/2023 Engineering Design Report
Cleanup Action Plan: Northport Waterfront 6/21/2022 Cleanup Action Plan
Feasibility Study: Northport Waterfront 4/19/2021 Feasibility Study
Remedial Investigation: Northport Waterfront 10/2/2019 Remedial Investigation Report
Work Plan: Northport Waterfront Remedial Investigation 3/7/2019 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
There may be more documents related to this site. To obtain documents not available electronically, you will need to make a public records request.

Places to see print documents

  • Eastern Regional Office
    N 4601 Monroe St
    Spokane, 99205-1265
    Please schedule an appointment to view print documents at this location.
  • Northport Town Hall
    315 Summit St.
    Northport, 99114
    This location may only have print documents available during open comment periods.

Contaminants 4

Contaminant Type
Soil
Groundwater
Surface Water
Air
Sediment
Bedrock
Metals - Metals - Other C C
Metals - Arsenic C C
Metals - Lead C C
Metals - Mercury S S
S
Suspected
C
Confirmed Above Cleanup Levels
B
Below Cleanup Levels
RA
Remediated-Above
RB
Remediated-Below
R
Remediated
This contaminant list was based on our best information at the time it was entered. It may not reflect current conditions at the site.