Businesses in the Portland Harbor take pride in doing the
right thing for Portland's community, and are serious about
their environmental responsibilities.
Additionally, all harbor businesses operate under the oversight
of many federal, state and local entities, including:
- The City of Portland;
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality;
- Oregon Division of State Lands;
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; and
- The National Marine Fisheries Service.
Below are highlights of select environmental
initiatives by some harbor businesses:
Barges built by Vigor, Gunderson and Zidell can move one
ton of cargo 575 miles with one gallon of fuel. Rail cars,
built by Gunderson, can move one ton of cargo 425 miles. By
comparison, a heavy truck will move the same cargo only 155
A 2.4 million pound fish weir, fabricated on Swan Island
by Oregon Iron Works and installed on a Snake River dam by
Advanced American Construction, will assist in migrating fish
passage. "We have found we are passing more fish with less
water," Corp Project Manager Cary Rahn said, "and that survival
rates are 98 percent when going over surface routes."
Ash Grove Cement utilizes landfill gas from the St. Johns
landfill as a source of fuel for drying their raw materials.
According to Glenn Dollar, Environmental Health and Safety
Manger, "using landfill gas to do beneficial works saves energy
and reduces emissions."
Tug boat operators, essential for ship assists and moving
product by barge, have dramatically reduce fuel consumption.
For example, Shaver recently spent $5.5 million to replace
engines in four of its busiest tugs. "The trip from Portland
to Lewiston used to take 15,000 gallons of fuel; now it uses
8,900 gallons.." Rob Rich, Shaver Transportation.
Many businesses in the harbor are investing in stormwater
improvements on their sites. For example, Evarz Oregon Steel
recently completed a $3 million state of the art end-of-pipe
stormwater treatment facility. The project includes a settlement
basin, sand filration system and grassy swales to treat stormwater.
"The best way for us to help clean up the river is through
source control, " says Debbie Deetz Silva, Environmental Manager.
Schnitzer Steel recently completed a Phase I of its new stormwater
system and eliminated eight outfalls to the Willamette River.
" This $1.6 million project allows us to store water on site
for process use or dust control, and reduces discharges to
Other investments are improving air and water quality near
the river. For example, Vigor Industrial replaced open air
dry abrasive blasting with wet abrasive blasting to reduce
particulate matter emissions. "We collect and treat all process
water on Swan Island. My family and employees care about the
environment; this operational change was the right thing to
do". Alan Sprott , Vice President, Vigor Industrial LLC.
Simplot built a perch at the end of its dock for nesting
Ospreys. "It's very cool to see them thrive in this industrial
location" says Bob Piatt, Manager.
The Port of Portland vegetated 2.7 miles of the shoreline
through an aggressive planting program and at T-4 laid back
the stream bank to create shallow water habitat for resting
fish and more vegetation for migrating birds. "We removed
acres from industrial use in order to better the environment,"
said Tom Van Wormer, Project Manager.