Adair Village Environmental Support

Repairing environmental damage from historic Camp Adair

In the early 1940s a large area of Adair Village, Oregon was used as a military training facility, and later a prisoner of war camp in support of the war effort. At its height the camp supported 30,000 people, but it was only in operation for a few years. The camp, which was really a city, included all the facilities one would expect including fueling stations, repair stations, coal-fired power systems, churches and schools.

In 1958, Plywood Products Company established a plywood-manufacturing facility in a small portion of the camp. The plant used blood-based glue during early operations, which contained pentachlorophenol (PCP). PCP, not to be confused with the recreational drug, was used as a preservative in the blood-based glue. PCP often contains high levels of dioxins and both are considered persistent with slow rates of decay in the natural environment. Relatively low concentrations of PCP and dioxins present risks to human and ecological receptors.

While the former operators of the wood-manufacturing facility performed a cleanup, and others performed assessments of the former camp operations, some risk remained for residual contaminants. The City of Adair Village decided to address potential contamination with the support of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Business Oregon. The city hired GeoEngineers to perform a series of environmental investigations to evaluate the potential presence of contaminants associated with historic uses of the property.

GeoEngineers prepared a Supplemental Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) in 2008 along with an Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA). Results of the ESA and ABCA identified residual contaminants in soil, sediment and/or groundwater, including dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), copper and PCP at concentrations higher than the acceptable risk to human and ecological receptors. The ABCA recommended additional assessments as well as potential cleanup of the sediments and capping and/or removal of some of the soils.


GeoEngineers’ environmental team followed the 2008 Phase II ESA with several more rounds of investigation to accurately characterize the extent of contamination. Services included:

  • Preparation of an Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA) document analyzing potential remedial cleanup actions for the site and recommending an appropriate strategy. The ABCA report was prepared in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance.
  • Follow-up site assessment activities included further delineating the magnitude and extent of dioxins, PAHs, metals and PCP at the site, especially focusing on the uplands area of the site and sediments. GeoEngineers’ findings were delivered to the client in a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) document.


GeoEngineers’ environmental investigation characterized the extent of dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), copper and PCP in the soil and groundwater at the site. The RI/FS document presented viable cleanup alternatives based on site-specific conditions, technical feasibility, and preliminary cost evaluations. Additional approaches to the cleanup were also presented, including wetland restoration, potential wetland mitigation credits and opportunities for funding sources to aid in the cleanup.

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