NWDA Air Quality Committee Minutes

NWDA Air Quality Minutes, February 10, 2014

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Attendees: Bob L., Phil Selinger, and Kathy Sharp.

Bob Amundson and Bob Holmstrom attended the ESCO inspection on January 22nd.  Shannon Huggins and ESCO’s senior environmental engineer hosted the inspection. Two items were on the inspection agenda.  Their comments follow:
Bob Holmstrom:
1.  Improved monitoring for some of the bag houses.  The new system uses a different technology than the old pressure drop system.  What they showed us seems effective.  We will need to see some data to see that it is actually working.  No date was set to see the data – it is a question we need to ask at the next NAC meeting.
2.  A new bag house (with the new sensor system) has been installed to help to control dust (not odors) from the ‘pouring room floor’ area.  It should reduce the amount of dust getting to the neighborhood from that source.  We need to ask for data on how much dust is being collected.
Bob Amundson:
Bob H’s comments can stand on their own.  I have one addition.  Shannon asked if it would help to label specific pieces of equipment for the public to understand what equipment was visible from the street,  e.g. baghouse, cooling water etc.  She brought this up at the end of the inspection.  She showed us the cloud from the cooling tower which she said was only water.  She thought a sign indicating that this was a water cooling tower and that the cloud was water vapor might help some neighbors who had complained about the “smoke” from that location.
Sharon Genasci:
The water vapor should be tested to make sure there are no other emissions in it.  We should continue to press for the above requested data.

The briefing to Major Hales and City Council of the Clean Diesel and Conduct of Construction Good Neighbor Agreement went well.  The NWDA board had many suggestions for follow-up.  A follow-up letter will be written to council.

We still don’t have a quorum so we will vote on an Air Quality representative to the on-going Site Logistics plan next month.

The wind has shifted.  There have been new odor complaints in the areas of overton/northrup 19th to 23rd.   Has the source changed?

Materials are ready for the informational booth at the NWDA Meet and Greet on February 13th.

NWDA Air Quality Meeting Minutes January 13, 2014

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Attendees:  Kathy Sharp, Bob L, Jorjan Parker, Evan Farnham


-Bob Holmstrom and Bob Amundson will be NAC members inspecting Esco GNA Emissions Reduction Projects #1 and #7 on Wednesday, January 22 at 9 am..  The dust collectors are installed and operational for the capture and control of Doghouse fugitives as per project 1.  Project 7 included bag leak detection probes installed, calibrated and operational for EAF and AOD bag houses.


City Council will be briefed on the Clean Diesel Conduct of Construction Good Neighbor Agreement Wednesday January 22 at 10:30 am.


We did not have a quorum.  Members in attendance request Kathy Sharp to represent the Air Quality Committee on the on-going Site Logistics Plan group until Sharon returns.


The neighbors who originally submitted odor complaints concerning Cascade Rubber Products were contacted and encouraged to continue to submit odor complaints as they are impacted.  Odor complaints that include the most details have the most impact.


There have been no odor complaints this month.  Complaints from neighbors experiencing air quality problems are what drive the system improvements.   We discussed what we can do to educate those impacted to report problems.


“What’s in Our Air”.  No update.


NWDA Air Quality Meeting Minutes, December 9, 2013

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Attendees: Kathy Sharp. Bob L, Bill Welch, Phil Selinger, Evan Farnham, Jorjan Parker.

Absent: Sarah Taylor, Sharon Genasci, Myriam Alaux.

Update on Con-way Agreement:  The agreement has not been signed yet. No problems just waiting for final review and signing.  There is still a green light on the CMAQ (Congestion, Mitigation and Air Quality) funds just no time line on their availability.  The CMAC funds are the funds that will retrofit equipment.

   The NWDA board has a motion on the agenda for Monday, December 16th to create a working group of three representatives to follow and monitor the agreement.

Motion 5: The NWDA Board charges each of the Air Quality, Planning and Transportation Committees to appoint one person from each committee as an ad hoc “CE John and NWDA Air Quality and Conduct of Construction Good Neighbor Agreement” (GNA) monitoring group, to remain active over the life of the GNA, with replacement representation over time as appropriate. That group will further designate a person to perform on-site monitoring as prescribed in the GNA. The work of that group is to be guided by the Board President and/or the Air Quality Committee chairperson.

Discussion of meeting with Alex Yale :  Sharon and Kathy met with Alex Yale, an architect for Anderson Construction, working on a project just south of the New Season’s site.  He met with us to be briefed on the Clean Diesel Agreement.  He expressed interest in meeting the same standards in their project.  Anderson Construction has met with the planning committee.

Odor complaints:  There have been no new odor complaints.  Bob has added Kathy to receive complaints while Sharon is away.


Cascade Rubber Products,  Next Steps?  Cascade Rubber Products does not hold a permit. Kathy will follow-up with DEQ.

Responses to meeting with Josh Alpert, the Mayor’s Sustainability Policy Director:  The meeting was requested by Josh to brief him on the Clean Diesel Conduct of Construction Agreement and air pollution concerns in the neighborhood..  Kathy was unable to attend because of work. Sharon briefed and felt the meeting went well.  She also shared concerns expressed at the Air Quality Committee of the impact of restaurants and other small sources.  They are currently handled on a case by case basis with no attention paid to the overall impact on air quality..  Josh expressed that it was important for the city to play a part in cleaning up Portland.

   The NWDA executive committee expressed displeasure that the meeting was held without notifying the board, the executive committee or the NWDA president.  There was much discussion.

What’s in our Air?  Sharon and the NWDA Air Quality Committee branded the slogan “What’s In Our Air” with its use as the title for a documentary and lawn signs.  Neighbors for Clean Air picked it up and used it for their URL.  Members of the NWDA tried to persuade NCA not to do that and subsequently purchased NCA.com.  Recently a trade of URL’s was pursued and failed.

NWDA Air Quality Committee 11.11.13

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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.

Sharon Genasci

NWDA Air Quality Committee Minutes

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.
Sharon Genasci

NWDA Air Quality Committee Minutes, 9.9.13

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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.
Sharon Genasci

NAC (ESCO GNA Neighborhood Advisory Committee) Meeting Notes, 7.31.13

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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

Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee 7.8.13

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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, NWDA-Con-way Clean Diesel Conduct of Construction Good Neighbor Agreement meeting, 6.27.13

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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).

Sharon Genasci

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.

NWDA Air Quality Committee Minutes 5.13.13

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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

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