Zidell plans river cleanup

The barge-building company reveals a $20 million plan to clean up the Willamette River.

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Portland barge-builder Zidell announced a $20 million project to clean up the contaminated Willamette River and open up waterfront land for development.

The project is one of the river’s biggest cleanup plans to date, but some environmentalists question its impact on local salmon and steelhead.

Zidell and its consultants say they believe the draft plan — endorsed by Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality — will significantly improve the river and the bank. It includes planting thousands of native shrubs and about 200 trees, cutting off 2,100 old dock pilings, and capping 16 acres of contaminated sediment and soil.

Zidell is wary of adding costs and risks to what would be the largest privately financed cleanup project on the Willamette to date. But the company will work with regulators on improvements, said Len Bergstein, Zidell’s public relations consultant on the project.

Read the full story at OregonLive.com.

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