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Environmental Protection Agency
Published: 21 December 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s comment period for the proposed Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site and will grant a 30-day extension. This updated public comment period (with the extension) will end on December 21, 2018.

What does the proposed ESD do? This proposed ESD documents EPA’s plan for changing some of the cleanup levels for one of the contaminants of concern (carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or cPAHs) in the selected remedy for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. A fact sheet summarizing the proposed changes is also available.

Why is there a proposed ESD? An updated health risk assessment from EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System shows that benzo(a)pyrene or BaP (a type of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon or cPAH) is less toxic for people who contact or ingest the chemical than previously thought. EPA must consider how this updated information affects the final cleanup plan (also known as the Record of Decision or ROD) in the proposed ESD because cPAHs are a contaminant of concern for the Site.


How do I provide comments on the proposed ESD?

There are two options for providing comments to EPA on the proposed ESD by December 21, 2018: Send comments via e-mail to EPA at [email protected] Note: You should receive a reply that confirms EPA received your comment. If you don’t receive a reply, please contact Laura Knudsen ([email protected]; 206-553-1838). Mail comments to EPA using the following address:

Attn:  Portland Harbor Superfund Comments

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

805 SW Broadway, Suite 500

Portland, OR 97205


How do I get more information?

Register for EPA’s webinar on the proposed ESD on Thursday, November 1st from 6-7:30pm (Pacific time). EPA plans to record the proposed ESD presentation for this webinar and post the recording online. Visit EPA’s Portland Harbor website for the most up-to-date information and materials about this proposed ESD. 

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