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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Environmental Services News

2019 News Releases

News Media Contact:
Diane Dulken  (503)823-5328 c:(503)457-7636  diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

For breaking news and other announcements, please see our Twitter feed: @BESPortland.



News Release: The State of Oregon and the City of Portland propose a new partnership for a safer, cleaner Willamette River

(Portland, OR - May 22) UPDATE: Portland City Council unanimously approved the new partnership and EPA agreement today in an ordinance introduced  by Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Nick Fish. Original news release below:

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This news release is being issued by both Governor Kate Brown and the City of Portland:

Joint fund with US EPA endorsement will jump start Portland Harbor cleanup efforts

(Salem, OR - May 10, 2019) — The State of Oregon and the City of Portland have proposed a new partnership for a safer, cleaner Willamette River, ushering in the next phase of the Portland Harbor cleanup work. This phase includes finalization of cleanup designs, which serve as blueprints and workplans for site cleanup. 

In December, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the entire Portland Harbor Superfund site must meet certain milestones toward cleanup design by the end of 2019. The State and City have proposed a unique approach that efficiently leverages public investment to encourage private parties to jump-start design work. Harbor image

Under this proposal, the City and State will each contribute up to $12 million to a trust, for a total of up to $24 million, that will provide $80,000 per acre as their contribution to the design work. EPA will credit the State and City against their respective responsibilities for each dollar spent from the trust. The per-acre funds are accessible to parties who sign agreements with EPA to generate cleanup designs by the end of the year, and those parties remain responsible for all costs above and beyond the $80,000 per acre. 

By pooling and capping public resources, the State and City funds will be spent on actual cleanup design work as opposed to administrative costs associated with negotiating and participating at multiple locations, improving efficiency and effectiveness of public dollars. This is a creative and unique approach among Superfund sites and represents a significant step forward towards the cleanup of the harbor.

“Our waters and our lands are some of our most precious resources, and this project will help ensure that they will be enjoyed by generations to come,” said Governor Kate Brown. “It’s a great example of how working together brings forward cost-effective solutions.” 

“We are proud to partner with the State of Oregon on this exciting approach,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler, “and we appreciate EPA’s willingness to think outside the box with us. We look forward to continued progress toward a healthy, working river.” 

This proposal goes to the City Council on May 15, 2019. More information about the Portland Harbor Superfund can be found on the EPA website.

 

 Media Contacts:

Governor's Office, Kate Kondayen, 503-689-0248

City of Portland, Annie Von Burg, 503-823-7859


Sewage advisory: Crews respond to sewage release to Ash Creek in Southwest Portland

UPDATE: This advisory expires on Monday, April 29 at 6 a.m. (Crews stopped the release at 3:30 a.m. Friday.)

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(April 27, 2019) – City crews are repairing a broken pipe that has led to a sewage release to Ash Creek in Southwest Portland. The release originates near SW Barbur Boulevard and SW 55th Avenue, and flows through storm pipes to Ash Creek, a tributary of Fanno Creek.

The public is advised to avoid contact with Ash Creek downstream (west) of SW 64th Avenue, as well as Fanno Creek until further notice due to the possibility of increased bacteria in the water. 

Crews are containing the release while repairs are being made. The amount and duration of the sewage release are unknown. Crews will continue working through the weekend to address this incident.  

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The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with programs to protect water quality and public health, including wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.


News Release: Environmental Services grant helps turn North Portland brownfield site into affordable housing

(April 11, 2019) - The Bureau of Environmental Services is awarding a $200,000 grant this month to assist in the final environmental cleanup of the former Wagstaff Battery Company at 2124 N Williams Avenue. The grant is made possible through a Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund awarded to the City by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011.  

A brownfield is a property where past use has led to contaminated soil or water. There are over 900 acres of brownfields throughout Portland. They include places like former industrial sites, gas stations, and dry cleaners. Their former use makes redevelopment expensive and challenging. 

The property will become a four-story, 61-unit affordable housing community. It is being developed by non-profit BRIDGE Housing with funding by the Portland Housing Bureau and Multnomah County. The building will include 10-units of Supportive Housing and will use the City’s right-of-return policy.

“This grant is an investment in our community, helping to create healthy neighborhoods, while providing deeply affordable housing in a historically underserved neighborhood. It’s a win-win-win. I’m proud to have the Bureau of Environmental Services support this project,” said Commissioner Nick Fish. 

The value of the small grant in this larger project is to help the non-profit developer remove contaminated soil and restore an old industrial site into a neighborhood asset – a hurdle that other properties don’t face.

To date, the Brownfield Program has helped address environmental concerns on more than 100 acres in Portland, acting as a catalyst for new businesses, housing, and community gardens.

The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration. Learn more at: www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/brownfields.


UPDATED Traffic Advisory: Sewer repair at SW Naito and Salmon Street starts April 8; Better Naito bicycle and pedestrian traffic to detour to Waterfront Park

Update (April 12) - This project will extend into the following week. No work is scheduled over the weekend and all lanes will be open on the Better Naito bicycle/pedestrian corridor. Beginning Monday, April 15, work will resume and the detour will be in effect 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays possibly through Friday, April 22.map

--- original traffic advisory below ---

(April 2, 2019) – The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services advises the traveling public that a sewer repair project will close a section of Better Naito at SW Salmon Street for one week beginning Monday, April 8. 

The closure will be in effect 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday. The project is slated to be complete on Friday, April 12. Work crews will not know the extent of damage until they excavate the area under the street and there is a possibility the time frame will be extended.

Environmental Services has determined that a sewer pipe under the road surface is severely deteriorated and at risk of failure. The repair will protect public health and the environment by reducing the possibility of a sewage release to the park and street.

The work zone is centered around a manhole on the west side of Salmon Springs in Waterfront Park. Crews will use the manhole to reach and repair the sewer pipe which extends from the manhole west along SW Salmon Street. The section needing repair is directly under Better Naito.

People traveling along the Better Naito bicycle and pedestrian lane will be detoured to Waterfront Park:

  • Northbound travelers will be routed to Waterfront Park at SW Main Street, then along the Waterfront Park trail, and back to Better Naito on SW Yamhill Street.
  • Southbound travelers will be routed to Waterfront Park on SW Yamhill Street, then along Waterfront Park, and back to Better Naito at SW Main Street.

People traveling by bicycle on SW Salmon Street will have the option of merging with northbound auto traffic for about a block before returning to Better Naito.

Environmental Services asks all travelers to be patient and use caution, and for people on bicycles to travel slowly and watch out for pedestrians on the Waterfront Park trail. 

The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

Media Contact Diane Dulken, 503-457-7636, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

 


Sewage advisory: Clogged manhole on NE Greeley Avenue leads to sewage overflow

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(March 29, 2019) – A manhole that became clogged with debris led to a sewage overflow in the right-of-way on NE Greeley Avenue in an area called the Greeley Forest Garden. 

Crews cleared the blockage around 6 p.m and restored service to the area, estimating that about 1,500 gallons overflowed today from the manhole onto a bike path along NE Greeley Avenue and surrounding area. The sewage flowed to a storm drain that leads to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. 

Crews estimate the sewage was contained within a small area. No creeks or other water body were affected.  The public is advised to obey warning signs that have been posted around the release. 

The sewage release possibly has been occurring for several weeks but was reported today, according to a crew member who spoke with a resident of an adjacent transient camp.  

Sewage overflows are preventable. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows. Environmental Services advises the public not to flush anything other than waste and toilet paper, and to not put anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only.  

This sewage overflow is not related to the City of Portland's combined sewer overflow control system which protects the Willamette River and Columbia Slough and manages excess stormwater and sewage during exceptionally heavy rains.  

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The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with programs to protect water quality and public health, including wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.


NOW OPEN - Traffic Advisory: Sewer construction to close pedestrian/bicycle bridge over Columbia Slough for three months starting March 25

(May 13, 2019) UPDATE - The bike path is now OPEN. Crews finished major repair work 39 days earlier than projected. Enjoy the trail.

(March 20, 2019) – The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services advises the public that a sewer repair project will close the Columbia Slough pedestrian/bicycle bridge north of the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant for three months beginning Monday, March 25.The closure will be in effect all hours and all days until June 23. Crews are repairing a 20-inch diameter pressurized pipe that runs underneath the bridge and carries sewage from Northeast Portland to the treatment plant. Repair of the aging pipe will protect public health and the environment.

An alternate route for pedestrians and people traveling by bicycle over the Columbia Slough is Interstate Avenue. The closure and construction are part of the Inverness 20-inch Force Main repair project.

 The Inverness Force Main is an 11-mile pressure sewer that splits into two sections about two miles east of the wastewater treatment plant. Both sections are suspended underneath the Columbia Slough Pedestrian Trail Bridge, which Environmental Services constructed.

A similar 90-day bridge closure two years ago allowed Environmental Services to repair the first section, a 30-inch diameter pipe. This closure will allow repair of the second section, a 20-inch diameter pipe. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/inverness20.

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The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

Media contact: Diane Dulken (503)457-7636 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

 


Traffic Advisory: Sewer construction to detour traffic from North Vancouver Avenue at NE Russell Street for three months starting February 25

(February 21, 2019) – The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services advises the public that a sewer repair project will close N Vancouver Avenue to daytime travel between NE Russell and NE Hancock streets for three months beginning Monday, February 25.

The closure will be in effect for construction from 9:15 a.m. through 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and during the same hours on Saturdays as needed. People traveling by motor vehicle will be detoured to NE Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard. People traveling by bicycle will be detoured to NE Rodney Avenue.

Local access will be maintained for residents and people visiting businesses along N Vancouver Avenue. All lanes will re-open to traffic during non-construction hours.

Environmental Services asks the traveling public to be patient, travel with extra caution, use the recommended detours and be alert for families and children walking and biking to Harriet Tubman Middle School on N Flint Avenue and connecting side streets.

Environmental Services is coordinating with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Harriet Tubman Middle School and Portland Police Traffic Division to maintain safe traffic flow in the neighborhood. While the traffic closure begins after school starts, please help maintain safety near the school by using designated detour routes.

The closure and construction is part of the Eliot Sewer and Stormwater Project and will allow crews to repair and replace about two miles of deteriorating public sewer pipes that are 100 to 120 years old. The project also includes constructing green street planters in key locations to reduce the amount of stormwater entering the combined sewer system. These improvements will protect public health, property and the environment by reducing the possibility of sewage releases into streets, homes and businesses. Project information may be found at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/eliot.

The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

Media contact: Diane Dulken (503)457-7636 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Advisory: Sewage release to tributary of Tanner Creek at 3263 SW Cascade Terrace

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory (this is NOT a Combined Sewer Overflow [CSO] Advisory)

(February 14, 2019) – Sewage was released from a City-owned pump station at 3263 SW Cascade Terrace. The sewage discharged into a stormwater catch basin for a tributary of Tanner Creek. 

The volume of the release is estimated at approximately 2,700 gallons. The release began around 5:45 a.m. City crews are onsite working to stop the release and conduct cleanup. An investigation of the cause of the release is ongoing. 

The public should obey the warning signs in the area and avoid contact with the tributary to Tanner Creek for 48 hours.

This sewage overflow is not related to the City of Portland's combined sewer overflow control system, which prevents overflows of stormwater and sewage to the Willamette River and Columbia Slough during rainy periods.

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with programs to protect water quality and public health, including wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and @BESPortland.

Media Contact: Taffy Spencer (503) 823-8601, taffy.spencer@portlandoregon.gov


Advisory: Sewage release along NE Marine Drive bike path east of NE 33rd Dr

Sanitary Sewage Release Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(February 6, 2019) – City crews are responding this evening to a sewage release along the NE Marine Drive bicycle path east of NE 33rd Drive. 

Crews are working to clean up the overflow, some of which is soaking into a grassy area along the path. The Columbia River is not affected. The release was reported around 7:25 p.m. The overflow has stopped and the cause is under investigation. 

Environmental Services has posted warning signs at the location of the release. 

Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. Environmental Services has ongoing construction projects to replace and repair aging pipes throughout the city: www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/construction.  The sewage release today is not related to Portland’s combined sewer overflow control system that protects the Willamette River and Columbia Slough from overflows during heavy storms. 

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The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

Media Contact Diane Dulken, 503-457-7636, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


CANCELLED Traffic Advisory: Traffic signals out at NE Glisan and 60th Avenue intersection through tonight; expect delays, use alternate routes

2:30 pm update: This advisory is cancelled. Work is complete and service is restored.  

 

(January 11, 2019) - The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services advises the traveling public to expect congestion around the intersection of NE Glisan Street and 60th Avenue through the evening commute due to a sewer construction project. The traffic signals at the intersection have been shut off and flaggers are managing traffic flow.

The public is advised to expect delays through this evening and to use alternate routes where possible.

Alternate routes are:

Eastbound and westbound travelers: Use NE Halsey or E Burnside streets.

Northbound or southbound travelers: Use NE 47th or 67th avenues.

The public is asked not to cut through residential streets. The nearby I-84 ramp signals are not affected but people entering or leaving the freeway may experience congestion on NE Glisan Street.

Travelers are asked to follow signage and the direction of flaggers, Please share the road and travel with caution.

The sewer repair work is the last major piece of the Mt. Tabor Sewer Repair Project. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/tabor. This project is repairing and replacing public sewer pipes that are 60 to 104 years old in order to protect water quality, public health and our environment.

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The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

Media Contact Diane Dulken, 503-823-5328, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov


Advisory: Sewage overflows from manhole on SW 57th Street into creek at Dickinson Park & Woods

Sanitary Sewage Advisory

(this is not a combined sewer overflow [CSO] advisory)

(January 10, 2019) - A sewer line clogged with debris  overflowed late this morning from a manhole on the south border of Dickinson Park & Woods in Southwest Portland. The sewage reached an unnamed creek in the park.

As a precaution, people are advised to avoid contact with the creek for 72 hours because of the possibility of increased bacteria in the water. Warning signs are posted at the site.sewage image

City crews responded to the site at about 11:30 a.m. and found sewage overflowing from a manhole on the 10800 block of SW 57th Avenue. They stopped the release around 2:45 p.m, clearing the sewer line of debris and cleaning up the area.

Sewage overflows often are preventable. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows. While the contents of the debris that caused today’s release are unknown at this time, Environmental Services advises the public to protect public health, property and our environment by following these tips:

 * Keep grease out of drains -  Place grease in a container and then in the trash, not down kitchen drains.

* Use toilets for pee, poo and (toilet) paper - Avoid flushing rags or wipes or anything other than toilet paper and human waste.

* Only rain goes down (storm) drains - Outside the home, avoid pouring anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only.  

Over one-third of Portland’s more than 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are over 80 years old. Environmental Services has ongoing construction projects to replace and repair aging pipes throughout the city: www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/construction.  The sewage release today is not related to Portland’s combined sewer overflow control system that protects the Willamette River and Columbia Slough from overflows during heavy storms.

Media contact: Diane Dulken, 503-457-7636,  diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov

 

 

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with programs to protect water quality and public health, including wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration. www.portlandoregon.gov/bes and @BESPortland.