NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting
November 11, 2013
Present: Judy Grace, David Arrow, Kathy Sharp, Bob L, Phil Selinger, Max Brunke, Sarah Taylor, Mike Liefeld (City of Portland) Sharon Genasci
Mike Liefeld, Enforcement Program Manager, Bureau of Development Services, City of Portland, was our invited guest. Some people on our committee are having problems with restaurant smoke and food smells occupying their homes and gardens. It occurred to us that it would be good to speak with the enforcement officer at the City about tools available to citizens to correct this situation. It also seemed like a good opportunity to think of our airshed as a commons, owned by all of us, and necessary to our lives. We wanted to know what is being done on the policy side in this state to regulate the many new and changing businesses that use the airshed to get rid of their smoke and gaseous waste.
First, it was gratifying to learn that unpermitted odor complaints can be addressed at the City by calling Michael’s office at 503 823 2633 or submitting an online complaint form at, www.portlandoregon.gov/bds and click on the Enforcement tab. Businesses that are permitted are enforced through the DEQ. In citing an odor complaint it is always important to include the source of the odor if possible. His office has code authority to levy fines or set code enforcement fees up to $600.00/month if the standard of the code is found to have been violated. He suggested that the best way to trigger a City investigation is to keep a log of the odors, time, duration and place over a period of some days. This gives the City people an idea of the frequency and duration of problem odors. The odor must exceed fifteen minutes to violate the code.
We also discussed the policy side for these types of emissions. Policy would most likely fall under the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Little is being done, as far as any of us knows. It was suggested that someone at the City level should be doing research to see how cities in California, for example, are regulating new business’ emissions into the airshed through smokestack requirements for scrubbers or other means. We decided to write the City asking for information.
Kathy, Phil and Sharon then briefed the group on the latest regarding the Clean Diesel & Conduct of Construction Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA), which is now with CE John, rather than Con-way. CE John is the developer for the New Seasons Store (starting construction in January, 2014, owner of various other Con-way properties, and is the main developer in the Con-way Master Plan Area.
Phil, Kathy, David Paul (NWDA attorney) and Sharon met on November
11th with Con-way attorney, Jill Long and CE John representative, Tom Di
Chiara. This was probably the last of the meetings taking place over a year to develop a GNA with high standards that would protect the neighborhood from diesel particulate, a known carcinogen. The final draft of the GNA is being prepared by Jill Long, but the group is feeling that few issues remain now between the two parties.
Finally, a couple of neighbors at the meeting live in the Pearl in a tower block on 9th and Lovejoy. They described problems with fuel and other odors at their 14th floor apartment. It was thought that some of the odors may come from Amtrak or from barge loading on the river.
Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting
Present: Kathy Sharp, Phil Selinger, Bob L, Evan Farnham, Jorjan Parker, Sharon Genasci
We met in the Breakfast Room at the Silver Cloud Inn and started the meeting with an update from Kathy and Sharon about the NWDA-Con-way Clean Diesel & Conduct of Construction GNA that they have been negotiating (along with Phil Selinger, Board President, Kevin Downing, DEQ and David Paul, NWDA lawyer) for just over a year. The next negotiating meeting will be on October 28th. First, we did not get the Penstemon grant we applied for ($100,000.00) to pay for third party oversight (now called NWDA validation).
To date we have agreed with Con-way on:
• EPA Tier 4 emission rating (or EPA equivalent for retrofit equipment) the standard rating for all significant equipment on the construction sites.
• A NWDA designee with appropriate safety training will be allowed onto the site to validate the equipment logs and conduct on-site spot checks of equipment against those records.
• The GNA Provisions will apply to any and all construction contracts and subcontracts in the Con-way Master Plan area over the next ten years.
• Contractors will keep records of construction equipment and the extent of use.
• Mediation that is conducted by an agreed upon source , i.e., Resolutions Northwest, to address disagreements in the execution of the GNA.
Kevin and Phil have also worked with a tool used in Chicago that measures emission management performance. With inputs such as model year, time on site etc. It assigns a numerical value to equipment, providing the contractor and NWDA validator a way of assessing progress in reducing emissions, and a way to arrive at exceptions.
These are at this stage informal agreements, as we do not yet have a final GNA agreement signed. But the good progress is cause for optimism.
Bob and Sharon spoke about the odor complaints, which at this time of year usually are reduced, because the wind characteristically blows to the north this season, and through the industrial area into our neighborhood in summer months. We are, however, getting quite a few odor complaints from North and NE Portland, mainly from the Swan Island area.
9.9.13 Air Quality Committee Minutes
Present: Kathy Sharp, Bob L, Jorjan Parker, Evan Farnham and Sharon Genasci
First off, Kathy and Sharon updated the Committee on the status of the Clean Diesel/Conduct of Construction Good Neighbor Agreement with Con-way. The next meeting is scheduled for September 25th in Lane Powell’s offices.
Sharon thanked the Committee for suggesting at the last meeting that we should ask for City support for this project.
The result was an excellent letter from Mayor Charlie Hales, which was submitted along with support letters from Physicians for Social responsibility (PSR) and Con-way for our application (written by Phil Selinger, NWDA Board President) to the Penstemon Fund for $100,000.00 to pay some of the costs for third party oversight once the agreement is signed.
The Scope of Work for third party oversight of the project will be worked out along with the legal language of the agreement. David Paul, lawyer for NWDA in the negotiations is working on legal language with Jill Long, Lawyer for Con-way. We have also had some help from Wendy Chung, NWDA Board member with legal language.
To date we have not agreed certain important aspects of the
final agreement, but we are hoping to move ahead with these things at the next meetings. We have agreed on tier 4 as the target diesel emissions reduction (95 per cent).
Kathy pointed out that certain items in earlier drafts of the GNA have been dropped, because we have focused mainly on diesel reduction and retrofitting and oversight. A few of these include, no idling, no parking near air intakes, agreement to plug into stationary power sources when possible.
Jorjan then asked to be taken off the NAC (Neighborhood Advisory Committee for the ESCO GNA). Sharon said she would try to find a replacement.
A discussion followed about current air quality problems from other sources. Several members have noticed a new sweet, chemical odor that is upsetting their enjoyment of their homes and gardens. Two complaints on this odor were submitted and ESCO has agreed that it probably came from their plant 3. They are experimenting with
a new binder that uses less phenol, which may be the source of the new odor, though ESCO has not confirmed that.
Bob L suggested we apply for the Metro grant, and there was some discussion about this, but no decision taken,
Bob L also talked about the City’s Nuisance rule, which can offer neighbor’s some support when they have problems with a local air pollution source. Neighbors can call 503 823 2633 for information.
Kathy spoke about the Work Plan for our committee, and we decided to submit the same Work Plan from last year.
NAC (ESCO- Neighborhood Advisory Committee) Meeting Notes 7.31.13
Present: ESCO, Jay Fagan, Travis Quarles, Shannon Huggins, Kelley Egre
Chair, Aubrey Baldwin, Neighbors for Clean Air, Tom Giese, John Krallman,
NWDA, Sharon Genasci,
We skipped introductions, since we all knew each other. John Krallman gave a status report on the plans to put air monitors near Chapman Elementary School. ESCO provided $25,000.00 under the NAC agreement for this purpose. Neighbors for Clean Air are monitoring under the guidance of Denny Larson from Global Community Monitor. They will sample for PM2.5 and PM10 and metals analysis for 40 heavy metals, beginning some time in October.
John suggested that ESCO should have some sort of advertising to put on the fence – who is monitoring and who is paying for it etc.
Aubrey reported on the Annual Public tour on April 30th. There were six attendees from the neighborhood. The purpose was for ESCO to provide an overview of the equipment, including new controls under the NAC. People were taken to see plants, 1, 2, and 3.
It was decided that the NAC should create a subcommittee to deal with an ESCO Emergency Response Plan. The Subcommittee would provide information to neighbors in case ESCO has a baghouse failure for example. There is a certain timeframe when ESCO is allowed to continue to operate after a failure of the baghouses. We were told that ESCO had an hour to correct the problem, and then must shut down if the problem is not fixed in that time..
During the discussion Sharon raised the past problem with the plant of failing to notify DEQ immediately when there is a failure. Under past permits DEQ allowed the company not to report 10 per cent of the time. In a past check of DEQ records, we found ESCO had not reported any failures. due to this 10 per cent language in the permit.
A check should be made this year to see whether ESCO has reported any failures under the new permit.
NWDA needs to propose someone for this committee.
Travis Quarles and Jay Fagan gave an update on the Attachment A projects under the NAC agreement.
First, No. 10 – “Take corrective actions to reduce fugitives on thermal sand reclaim baghouse by installing course fraction separator to improve collection and reduce wear on baghouse.” Travis reported that ESCO had trouble with the separator, so now they have installed a short term solution.
No. 5 a. “ Install thermal oxidation or alternative control technology on sand coating pug mill.
b. Substitute a low phenol binder system for the binder system on which the phenol emissions factors in the Title V Permit are based. The new low phenol binder system will achieve a combined reduction in phenol emissions from all Plant 3 sources of at least 35 to 40 per cent.” The new lower phenol binder to be used in plant 3 will be tested on August 19th. ESCO is still (after 15 years) looking for new binders for Plants 1 and 2.
Finally, Aubrey raised the question of the signs found in the neighborhood, which read,
“High Tolerance Area for manganese “etc., signed, ESCO. These did not originate from ESCO, and no one at the meeting knows who put them up. However, when asked for a “NAC response to the signs” Sharon pointed out that neighbors are free to protest the continued emissions from the plant. Sharon brought 40 odor complaints since the last NAC meeting on April 26th from neighbors. Neighbors are complaining that under the new GNA odors continue, making life, especially for those nearest the plant, very difficult particularly on hot summer nights.
Sharon Genasci, NWDA NAC representative, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee
NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting Minutes
Present: Bill Welch, Cynthia Casas, Phil Selinger (Pres., NWDA) Evan Farnham,
Jorjan Parker, Bob L, Sharon Genasci
First, Sharon briefed the committee on the latest in the negotiations with Con-way and C.E. John over a Clean Diesel and Conduct of Construction GNA agreement for the Con-way master plan area in the N E corner of the neighborhood. Several new developments included funding from CMAQ funds that would be administered through Kevin Downing of DEQ, who has been working with the clean diesel group since October, 2012.
This funding would go mostly to retrofit construction equipment destined for the Con-way area, assuming that match from Con-way and C.E. John of 10.27 per cent can be agreed.
Kevin also notified the group of other funding that might be available to the group to pay for a third party person to oversee the project, making sure that all equipment on site is retrofitted to the agreed level or new.
To date Con-way has not agreed to the tier 4 retrofit level (95 per cent reduction of diesel emissions) or to having a third party person on site daily to oversee construction vehicles, making sure that all vehicles on site are retrofitted to the agreed level.
The next scheduled clean diesel meeting with Con-way is on July 23rd. Con-way promised to deliver an answering draft of their own version of a Clean Diesel and Conduct of Construction GNA
agreement on July 11th. NWDA presented them with our draft GNA at the last meeting in June.
Next up was a discussion about the odor complaints. Bob L and Sharon described the continued complaints about ESCO odors. One local resident who lived near ESCO has moved out of the area to Irvington area, where the air is much better he says. He described strong daily odors of overheated brakes and other chemical smells that all came from ESCO.
New complaints are turning up on Wilson Street, where residents, working with us are trying to find the source of the odors. One resident complained that she could no longer find anyone at DEQ available to talk to when complaining of odors.
Bob l said he would investigate this.
Cynthia made some suggestions to improve the brochures. Sharon and Kathy plan to hand out brochures at one of the concerts in the park series on Thursdays.
Sharon handed round a Friends of Family Farmers letter to DEQ regarding the new Nuisance Strategy.
Finally, Sharon pointed out that a retired member of the Committee had called her about a strange sign up in Wallace Park, listing ESCO emissions and seemingly a warning, but signed, ‘ESCO’. No one knows who put up several such signs, but ESCO is determined to take them down.
Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA AQC
Notes taken at the 6.27.13 meeting: Present were Jill Long, lawyer to Con-way, Tom Di Chiarra, representative from C.E. John, Kathy Sharp, Phil Selinger (new Pres. NWDA) Karen Karlsson (new member of NWDA Bd, sitting in, not on the committee) and Sharon Genasci.
Overall, it was a good meeting, but there was no agreement with Con-way on several important points. They are going to come back with a new GNA offer by July 12th. They set meeting dates for the remainder of the summer. They want a signed agreement before summer is over. This is good.
The sticking points in our GNA draft from their point of view were, 1.) They will not “pay for a third party person” to oversee all projects, making sure that all construction equipment on site has been retrofitted to the agreed level. 2.) They chose to go with tier 4i, rather than tier 4, which may be closer to tier 3. Kevin Downing (DEQ) will investigate this further, so we can put a figure on the amount of emissions that will be prevented. 3.) They said no to the 1 per cent we proposed, to pay for the third party oversight and retrofitting.
Kevin then proposed that he do some research on a software tool developed on the east coast, which may be possible to set this up so equipment used on site can be identified (perhaps monitored by the neighborhood, as well as by the developer) that would assure us it had been properly retrofitted. We had a bit of discussion about enforcement, if the plan fails and a subcontractor is working with dirty equipment. Sharon pointed out that this is just the situation we don’t want, because we already have lots of experience with this. If this happens it is always too late, and neighbors are exposed (diesel particulate is a carcinogen).
They didn’t point out any major problems with the rest of the GNA (Conduct of Construction). The tone of the meeting was friendly, but we were firm in our request for a high standard on the retrofits, and the need for enforcement. So we will wait to see their proposal and to hear from Kevin about a software oversight program. It was also important that New Seasons is now a B Corporation.
Below is the New Seasons Face Book page announcement, which is important, since New Seasons will be the first tenant in the Con-way area (22nd & Raleigh).
This was what New Seasons put on their Face Book page:
What does B Corporation certification really mean?
It means we walk our talk. It means we take care of you, our fans and customers, and so much more. It means we share this honor with you. Come along as we continue this journey.
Watch the video: http://initforgood.newseasonsmarket.com/b-corp-video
#initforgood #BtheChange #pdx #BCorp
New Seasons Market: #InItForGood
New Seasons Market is the first and only grocer certified as a B Corporation, joining a community of more than 750 mission-based, triple-bottom-line companies around the world.
Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting
Present: Bob L, Myriam Alaux, Jorjan Parker, Evan Farnham, Sharon Genasci
Sharon gave an update on the Con-way Construction Clean Diesel GNA (Good Neighbor Agreement) negotiations, which are ongoing. The next meeting at Jill Long’s (Con-way lawyer) office will be on June 3rd. Bob L pointed out a typo in the draft, which was changed. The need for a baseline diesel particulate level for the Con-way area was discussed along with other matters concerning the GNA negotiations. It is hoped a good GNA for clean diesel in the Con-way master plan area will be the result.
Bob L and Sharon gave an update on the NAC (Neighborhood Advisory Committee, ESCO GNA) meeting on April 26, 2013. Bob L changed the odor complaint format for our website (www.portlandair.org) to allow complaints to be sent to ESCO, when ESCO is listed as the source. The complaints all go to DEQ as well, as to our committee. The reason for the change is because our format, which has more information than DEQ formatted complaints, will go to ESCO directly, to aid the company in their investigation into the reason for the strong odor. Sharon
pointed out there were a number of complaints about ESCO odors (ten since the last NAC meeting) which she brought to the NAC meeting, including one on Easter Sunday morning.
There was some discussion about new lawn signs, but they were put on hold
for the moment.
Sharon announced that PSR (Physicians for Social Responsibility) have drafted a letter of support for our campaign for clean diesel in the Con-way area.
Submitted by Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA AQC
Notes, ESCO GNA NAC (Neighborhood Advisory Committee) meeting 4.26.13
NAC members present: Aubrey Baldwin, Tom Giese, Bob Amundson, John Krallman (substitute rep), Sharon Genasci
Jay Fagan & Travis Quarles were ESCO representatives
Alllan Classen from the Examiner was present
The meeting was held at Friendly House. All present introduced themselves.
One of the first items on the agenda was approval of project 2 (GNA attachment A) which was ‘Add control to Air Arc Cutting Lower Finishing.’ This was, “For a test period of one month, ESCO will weigh each container of dust collected and record the amount of particulate removed”. ESCO has done this and found the following:
For the Time Period (2012) Amount of Dust
2/1 – 3/8 824 pounds
3/9 – 4/8 376 pounds
4/9 – 5/8 654 pounds
5/9 – 6/8 420 pounds
6/9 – 7/9 582 pounds
7/9 – 8/9 576 pounds
ESCO plans to repeat the weigh test in two years. Bob Amundson said it was his understanding that they are required to test for metals before putting them into the landfill. He requested they use those numbers to calculate how much lead, manganese etc. was removed because of the new controls.
Travis spoke about ESCO’s Annual Report. Slinger Bay, which, after the GNA agreement, was left with no controls at all, will have none until 2017. (The NWDA Air Quality Committee, in an ESCO GNA Minority Report contested this decision)
Travis spoke about the odor complaints. He said that most of the complaints were being addressed in the new controls. Sharon brought 10 new ESCO complaints to the meeting. One of them was on Easter Sunday morning. Sharon asked if ESCO was in operation on Sundays now? Travis said yes, they are working on Sunday too now. ESCO had not been able to discover what caused the problem with odors on Easter Sunday. But they promised to look into it again.
There was a discussion between ESCO employees and Bob L from the NWDA Air Quality Committee about the odor complaints. The AQC feels that the spirit of the GNA odor complaint agreement is not fulfilled, because:
1. ESCO investigates complaints but only the person complaining is allowed this information.
2. A password is required in order to get this information
3. ESCO only allows NAC members access to the their file on complaint findings and this only by going into ESCO’s offices and hand copying data. No photocopies, no chance to put the data on the website for everyone to see.
Allan Classen said he is planning to take the public tour, and he asked whether he could bring a camera? He was told no photos allowed on the tour.
Finally, John Krallman, lawyer for NCA told about plans to monitor for metals at Chapman School, using the funds ESCO offered in the GNA for this purpose. The data will belong to the NAC. In a month or so the NAC could see some raw data.
Submitted by NAC Rep. Sharon Genasci, NWDA Air Quality Committee
Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee meeting
Present: Kathy Sharp, Bob L, Myriam Alaux, Evan Farnham, Jorjan Parker, Bill Welch, Sharon Genasci
Bob & Sharon began the meeting with an update on the website and odor complaints. The usual season’s odor complaints are coming in on www.portlandair.org. Several complaints came in last week documenting strong fuel smells, similar to those we had problems with a couple of years ago. The odors seem now to have stopped, though we will carry out our own investigations if they begin again. We also had several complaints about ESCO odors from neighbors. Neighbors living near the plant are saying that the odors continue about the same as before the GNA agreement was signed. One neighbor complained of strong ESCO odors on Easter Sunday. In the past ESCO told us they did not operate on Sundays.
Kathy & Sharon gave an update on the NWDA Con-way construction clean diesel GNA committee meetings. The next meeting with Con-way and developers is scheduled for April 22nd. Sharon and Kathy told the group that Attorney, David Paul, has agreed to work with the committee pro bono, pending agreement by the NWDA Board. He will offer more balance to the committee, since Jill Long, lawyer for Con-way represents Con-way at all meetings.
The AQC then put together a motion to the NWDA Board for the next meeting on the 15th of April as follows:
“A motion to recommend the inclusion of David Paul in the NWDA Con-way Clean Diesel Construction GNA Committee as the NWDA legal counsel.”
The group voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Finally, Sharon reminded the group of the upcoming NAC (Neighborhood Advisory Committee) meeting on April 26th at 9:00 am at Friendly House. These are the quarterly meetings organized under the GNA with ESCO. The meetings offer a public opportunity for neighbors with questions or complaints to speak with ESCO employees during the public part of the meeting.
The Annual public tour of ESCO is scheduled for 10:00 am to 12:30 pm on April 30th. There are still a couple of spots open for neighbors who would like to attend.
For those interested:
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating the name, email address and phone number of each person who wishes to sign up.
Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee
Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting
Present: Bill Welch, Bob L., Kathy Sharp, Myriam Alaux, Jorjan Parker, Evan Farnham, Sharon Genasci
We first had an update on the status of the Con-way Construction Clean Diesel GNA work from Kathy and Sharon. A meeting is planned for next Tuesday at Jill Long’s office (She is the Con-way lawyer). Craig Boretz, CEO, Con-way, Jill Long, Tom DiChiara, CE John, Don Forrest, New Seasons, Kevin Downing, ODEQ, Kathy Sharp, NWDA Board and Sharon Genasci, NWDA AQC Chair will be there to discuss the NWDA proposal for clean diesel in the Con-way master plan area construction.
By way of preparation, Kathy, Kevin and Sharon held a conference call with Ramesh Ramen from New York. He was a project manager running a clean diesel project for the twin towers area construction after September 11th. He was very encouraging about the use of clean diesel in New York, where it has been policy for many years. He offered assistance to help contractors in the Con-way area to learn more about the program and its importance.
Sharon explained a motion to add the words, “and all parties connected to Con-way
development in the master plan area” to the existing NWDA Board motion (10.15.12) to help clarify that negotiations for a clean diesel GNA will of necessity involve contacting all parties involved in the Con-way development. The new motion reads,
“The NWDA AQC asks the Board to affirm the intent and content of the Clean Diesel Draft Discussion Points for a Con-way clean diesel GNA (Good Neighbor Agreement). The NWDA/AQC representatives will use the Discussion Points as a guide in negotiating with Con-way and all parties connected to Con-way development in the master plan area, but the Board acknowledges that the give and take between the parties may ultimately result in a GNA that differs in some respects from the Discussion Points.”
This motion passed the committee unanimously, and will go to the NWDA Board.
Bob L spoke about the website issues. He was asked by the committee to make some changes to the odor complaint form to adjust to the new practice decided at the last GNA Advisory Committee to send all Esco odor complaints to Esco, so they can investigate what was happening at the plant at the time of the complaint.
Kathy talked about the Conduct of Construction piece she is working on to
add such issues as dust and noise to the Con-way GNA after the clean diesel part is agreed.
Submitted by Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee