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Upcoming Forum Announcements

September 20, 2018

5:45 to 6:30 pm - Networking/Hors d’oeuvres
6:30 to 7:30 pm - Speaker Forum


A Slough of Challenges: Permitting and Activated Carbon Placement on the Lower Columbia Slough

The Paramount Hotel (Mezzanine Level)
808 SW Taylor St.
Portland, OR 97205

  • One block from MAX, Street Car & Smart Park

For additional information, contact:

  • Joe Needoba, Speaker Chair 503-346-3421
  • Sara Moore, President


A Slough of Challenges: Permitting and Activated Carbon Placement on the Lower Columbia Slough

The Columbia Slough, located in Portland, Oregon, comprises a 19-mile main channel that parallels the Columbia River, with approximately 12 additional miles of secondary waterways and over 32,700 acres of drainage basin. Stormwater runoff and historical discharges from adjacent industrial activities have contaminated sediment and fish tissue throughout the waterway, with polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) being the primary toxin of concern. The selected remedy for cleanup of sediment within the Slough is to remove hot spots until the Slough-wide average is below acceptable levels.  DEQ is currently using private-party settlement funding to begin these hot spot cleanups.

For this month’s forum, we will hear from Carmen Owens with Apex Companies present on implementation of a pilot study in the Slough. In association with DEQ, APEX developed a plan to use activated carbon to remediate PCBs in sediment.  Numerous challenges associated with  remediation  were tackled during the implementation phase, and in the end the project was successful at achieving between 86% and 95% reduction of total PCBs in porewater of the contaminated area.



Carmen Owens, Senior Engineer, Apex Companies, LLC

Carmen is a senior engineer with Apex Companies, LLC based out of their Portland, Oregon office.  Carmen received her B.S. in Biology and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa.  Before joining Apex, Carmen was a scientist at the Iowa Superfund Research Center developing quantification methods for PCBs and PCB metabolites in sediment and human blood serum.  She has eight years of environmental consulting experience providing a wide range of services including site assessment/remediation, due diligence, hazardous building materials, feasibility studies, wetland delineation and mitigation, permitting, and source control.  Recently her work has focused on contaminated sediment while managing the assessment and remediation of multiple waterways within the Portland area.  Carmen is an active volunteer within the community focusing on science education, working with Girls, Inc., Metro, and the Slough School program at the Columbia Slough Watershed Council.  


NEXT FORUM: Oregon Marine Reserves

DATE:  October 18, 2018