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Clean Up Of Ross Island Nears Completion

The clean-up of contaminated sand and gravel at Ross Island is finished — according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Sutter says the agency is asking for public input before issuing final approval. But she says, the company responsible for the area — Ross Island Sand and Gravel — is still required to make it more natural.

Jennifer Sutter: “And their reclamation plan specifies that they create certain types of habitat within the lagoon, a certain amount of emergent wetlands, a certain amount of shallow water habitat and that they vegitate the upland area with native plants and that’s on going. That’s not complete and that will continue under their permit with the Division of State Lands.”

The clean-up of Ross Island ran into trouble when contaminated fill from the Port of Portland turned up in unexpected places.

Sutter says fill, containing pollutants like like zinc and arsenic, have now been capped so they don’t flow into the river. The areas still need long-term monitoring and maintenance.

The owner of Ross Island Sand and Gravel, Robert Pamplin, donated 44 acres of the island to the city in 2007.

The park is only open to the public through volunteer work parties.

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