Asbestos contaminated stockpile discovered near Wheeler

ODOT to clean up contaminated stockpile site near Wheeler

A stockpile site that has been used for many years by Oregon Department of Transportation maintenance crews for disposing of slide debris and ditching materials has been contaminated by pieces of asbestos water pipe that will need special clean up. The stockpile is located on ODOT land near the intersection of U.S. 101 and OR 53 (Necanicum Highway) in Tillamook County.

Asphalt Dumping in Nehalem Estuary

The potential contamination caught ODOT’s attention during the December weather events when numerous slides resulted in significant cleanup of dirt and other debris from area roads.


ODOT maintenance crews were removing landslide materials during mitigation work when they discovered parts of water pipe that contained asbestos. ODOT is working closely with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to have a DEQ licensed abatement contractor remove the asbestos.

ODOT and the environmental cleanup contractor will be on site on March 8 to remove the asbestos containing water pipe and the soil it has been in contact with. DEQ has reviewed and approved the cleanup approach.  During the cleanup, the public may notice cleanup workers in appropriate personal protection equipment performing the asbestos removal.

“ODOT crews rely on these stockpile sites because of all the slide and ditching materials that we need to dispose of. The further we have to go to dispose of these materials, the more expensive it is,” said Mark Buffington, ODOT’s District Manager in Astoria.  “However, we also have a responsibility to ensure that we do it in a safe and environmentally acceptable way.  We look forward to getting this cleanup work done soon.”

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