"Dirty Secrets In Abandoned SE Portland Landfill"

"Just south of Johnson Creek sits an abandoned landfill that time, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, forgot.

Built in 1950 before modern landfill regulations were written, the dump at 7600 S.E. Johnson Creek Blvd. lacked a liner to prevent chemicals from leaking out the bottom, or a system to collect the leakage before it polluted the creek or local groundwater.

A Portland Tribune investigation of DEQ files revealed that toxic chemicals were found beneath the landfill, a repository for construction debris and industrial waste from nearby Precision Castparts Corp. Yet there are no records of it ever getting cleaned up, despite fears it would contaminate nearby Johnson Creek — the target of ongoing cleanup campaigns involving multiple cities, nonprofits and scores of volunteers.

Only a handful of records still remain from the landfill’s 30 years of operation, but they show that as far back as 1980, a state DEQ administrator warned that the dump, known officially as Johnson Creek Landfill, might eventually pollute the creek, if it hadn’t done so already. "

Paul Koberstein reports for the Portland Tribune September 8, 2016.

Source: Portland Tribune, 09/09/2016