Activists decry amount of chemicals in OR rivers

Activists decry amount of chemicals in OR rivers

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 20 at 6:59 AM

PORTLAND – Every year, Oregon-based industries legally dump hundreds of thousands of pounds of chemicals into the state’s waterways, the most coming from a Portland company.

A new report, compiled by Environment Oregon, analyzed the amount of chemical waste released annually into Oregon rivers. It took data collected by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2012, the most recent year available.

According to the report, industries dumped more than 1.2 million pounds of chemicals into Oregon waterways in 2012.

The most was by Siltronic Corporation in Northwest Portland, which manufactures semiconductors.

“They reported dumping 350,000 pounds of toxic chemicals into our waterways in 2012,” said Rikki Seguin of Environment Oregon.

Since the data was released, Siltronic said it cut that discharge by more than half. It also said that most of the chemicals dumped were water-soluble nitrates treated before they entered the river. Everything they dumped was allowed by government permits.

Siltronic said it’s still making improvements to further reduce its discharge.

Related: 2 hurt in chemical explosion at Siltronic plant 

KGW Reporter Keely Chalmers contributed to this report. 

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