Sampling and analysis has occurred over a number of years since 2000 to evaluate the contamination in the river, and identify risks to human health and the environment.
These four chemical groups that are primarily related to historical releases account for most of the potential human and wildlife risks throughout the Portland Harbor area:
- PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)
- The pesticide DDT
- PAHs (polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, generally associated with petroleum products)
PCBs are the most significant and widespread chemicals posing potential risks to humans and wildlife. Eating resident fish such as carp, bass, and catfish - not migratory fish such as salmon – presents the most risk to humans.
Click here to go to EPA’s website about Portland Harbor.