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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 9, 2010 7:11 AM. The previous post in this blog was More Portland sewer insanity. The next post in this blog is You'll kick yourself if you don't play our World Cup game. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Duck Poop Cleanup 2.0 will leave PCBs in place

We've taken a look at the City of Portland's new bid invitations for the proposed cleanout of the pond in Laurelhurst Park -- a project that is supposed to cost $775,000, but when last put out for bid couldn't be completed for much less than twice that amount. The difference between this go-'round and the last one is that now the city is stipulating that hazardous PCBs are to be left in the pond bed, rather than removed and disposed of, as the original bid specified. The city is also making street access to the site easier, opening up some residential streets north of the park (Floral Drive and Laurelhurst Place) to construction traffic. And it's giving the contractor a little more time to get the work done.

Curiously, although no contaminated fill is to be removed under the new plan, the amount of sediment to be taken out remains the same, at about 14,050 cubic yards. Under the old plan, 2,480 of those cubic yards were supposed to be of contaminated material. The old bid documents contained analyses of sediment samples that showed contamination by various hazardous substances; those are omitted from the new bid package.

There are three zones shown on the project maps as contaminated. They are marked with diagonal lines on this map. One is at the east end of the pond, one is along the south side toward the east end, and another is on the north side just west of the middle of the pond:

Those are some pretty big chunks of the pond. With that much of the sediment left untouched -- and the worst of it, no doubt -- is it worth doing the rest of this project?

One of the revised maps contains this new caution about turtles that might be disturbed by the dredging of the pond:

And oh, yeah: The city's revised, official project maps still call 39th Avenue by its old name, rather than César Chávez Boulevard.

Comments (10)

I would be very concerned about where they will be dumpng this so called non PCB sediment.
Will it be tested for heavy metals, pesticides etc before just willy nilly dumping it?
Finally , what's the point of doing this job at all without doing it completely? They will be spending $775,000 to do what?
Disturb turtles and the bordering neighbors?

Either some corporation will be declared liable or it'll be shipped off somewhere out-of-sight-out-of-mind, just like the city deals with most issues it finds distasteful or bad for PR.

BTW, my favorite commentary on 39th is in the previously mentioned blog IcedBorscht...

"Portland is the nation’s whitest city. But don’t shy away because of this, folks. A stroll down PDX’s newly christened César E. Chávez Boulevard is like a walk through a bustling Mexican mercado. The multicultural “CCB” (as locals affectionately call it) is dotted with such shops and vendors as Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, and Jiffy Lube. And one can browse for hours in Fred Meyer’s vast produce section and Mexican food aisle."

Pardon me while I fall down laughing...

A stroll down PDX’s newly christened César E. Chávez Boulevard is like a walk through a bustling Mexican mercado. The multicultural “CCB” (as locals affectionately call it) is dotted with such shops and vendors as Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, and Jiffy Lube.

I think 39th was a particularly uninteresting street to designate for Chavez (if a street needed to be designated at all) but after attending a talk last weekend by one of the guys who put up the "Malcolm X St." signs back when everyone was screaming about renaming MLK twenty years ago, I kind of have to kind of laugh at the sustained squealing that's been going on over "CCB".

If it wasn't named for a fairly significant figure in Portland history, Stark St. might have been a better choice, assuming you wanted to make it a racial thing. Anyone driven to Gresham out that way sometime in the past, oh, decade or so? There's a fair amount of Spanish-language signage, even before you his the city limits (and plenty more in Gresham).

Then again, the whole thing about "whitest city" and "Mexican mercado" seems sort of blatantly racist to me, seeing as how Chavez was born in Yuma, Arizona. As was pointed out during the renaming thing, the only other tribute to any kind of labor leader in Portland is the Francis Murnane boat dock that was covered up by the new Saturday Market expansion.

You can view Chavez as just some brown guy and trivialize his place in American history saying he only matters to Latinos, or you can also consider Chavez as a major figure in labor history, in which case a street running through the working-class side of Portland doesn't seem like such a surprise.

And it's done.

. . The difference between this go-'round and the last one is that now the city is stipulating that hazardous PCBs are to be left in the pond bed, rather than removed and disposed of, as the original bid specified. The city is also making street access to the site easier, opening up some residential streets north of the park (Floral Drive and Laurelhurst Place) to construction traffic. .

Hazardous PCB's to be left in pond bed? Was this a reason the pond needed cleaning in the first place? If they don’t do it now, will they have to come back in two years to do so? Have they run out of money to follow through with the cleanup as needed?

It looks like the city is taking short cuts across the board. . must be in more trouble than most folks realize.
Asking citizens to assist police in parade, asking citizens to volunteer more and more time and to raise money such as commented on another thread here where to designate a Main Street, looks like the people need to raise $30,000. and then another $20,000.

Have no idea what goes on, we citizens cannot keep up with them. But I will say, I wonder when these projects do come up if the city is actually doing other work needed "under a project name"?

For example, when I see making street access to the site easier from the north to get to the pond, what happens then within the park to get to the pond? The pond as I recall is close to the east street. Are they planning to cut trees and construct a road within the park? Is there some “other underground” work that needs to be done that they are not telling us about?

What are the origins of the PCB's?

Where is DEQ (Duck Every Question) when you need them?

... It looks like the city is taking short cuts across the board. . must be in more trouble than most folks realize...

GE Capital?

When I saw the title "Duck poop cleanup..." I thought it was about Masoli leaving UofO.

PCB's in Laurelhurst Pond? OK I have heard of PCBs in Lake Michigan, but heck, there is a century of Standard Oil, Youngstown Sheet and Tube, Sherwin -Williams, and National Steel -- and that's just northern Indiana. Geez! What is in the breadcrumbs that would turn duck poop into toxic waste?

PS -- I bet that you could catch all the turtles in the pond if they made a donation to a couple of Boy Scout Troops and gave them till the end of August.


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