NWDA Air Quality Committee Minutes

NAC Meeting Minutes April 11 2017

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Neighborhood Advisory Committee Meeting minutes from April 11, 2017

NAC Meeting Minutes_April 11 2017 (PDF)

Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee, 3.14.16

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Present: Dan Packard, David Arrow, Bob L, Joe Keller, Myriam Alaux, S.Joan Glebow, jorjan Parker, Evan Farnham, Sharon Genasci

First item on the agenda was the question of ESCO’s closure of Plant 1.
It was announced at the NAC (Neighborhood Advisory Committee) meeting that the Plant 1 closure date has not been set. When Sharon questioned ESCO representatives, they said that the plant could still be operating in a year’s time.

ESCO also mentioned that they would like to begin discussions on a new Good Neighbor Agreement for the five years of the next permit. Plant 3 will continue to operate as usual. Mark Morford will continue, as in the last GNA, to serve as ESCO’s lawyer.

Discussion included all the new housing units that have gone up in the ESCO airshed since the last permit, making the need for controls on heavy metals and other pollutants even more important. We discussed the outcome of the last GNA, when our committee was not pleased with the agreement, and wrote a Minority Report to register our dissatisfaction with a 20 per cent reduction in emissions, no opportunity for fenceline monitoring to validate emissions’ levels and no controls at all on Slinger Bay, which is closest to the neighborhood with open windows and ceiling vents.

David Arrow gave a quick update on diesel emissions at the Railroad Station where trains continue to idle. Our committee was refused permission by building managers at two Portland Housing Authority buildings next to the Station, to put monitors on the rooftops to ascertain diesel levels that potentially expose housing residents.

Sharon announced she is showing her film, “What’s In Our Air?” at the Clinton Street Theater on March 21st “ at 7:00 pm. Air quality activists from across Portland will discuss DEQ plans for temporary rules for heavy metals from small art glass factories in SE Portland. The group agreed that Sharon should write testimony, urging ODEQ to write permanent rules for all businesses emitting lead, arsenic, cadmium and other heavy metals that are endangering public health in Oregon.

Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee

Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting

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11.9.15 (Silver Cloud Inn Breakfast Room)

Present, Kathy Sharp, Bob L, Joe Keller, Ann Dart, Evan Farnham, Sharon Genasci

First off we talked about the continuing problem of trains idling at the station in downtown Portland. We have had several complaints about diesel fumes in peoples’ apartments nearby. Diesel particulate is a carcinogen of concern. We are currently monitoring near the station, but do not have data ready for public notice yet.

The Committee received a complaint on our website, www.portlandair.org from a neighbor on 24th and Pettygrove with high levels of zinc in her blood. She is anxious to discover the source. We investigated the Galvanizers in the Industrial Sanctuary, where their operations take place in open air. We will work with DEQ to investigate this and other sources of zinc, and hopefully get controls put on. She said other neighbors near her also are experiencing “dizziness, vertigo, nausea and fatigue”.

The Committee reviewed last year’s Work Plan and made a few changes. The new Work Plan will be submitted to the NWDA Board for approval.

ESCO notified the Committee that they do not want to begin negotiations on the new Good Neighbor Agreement for a new five year permit, until the New Year.

There will be no AQC meeting in December.

Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee

NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting Minutes

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October 12, 2015

Present: Kathy Sharp, Bob L, David Arrow, Dale Feik, Sharon Genasci

First off a discussion about train idling. One person on our Committee has a problem with diesel fumes in his apartment. The management of his affordable housing (Reach building on Lovejoy Street approach to Broadway Bridge)does not want monitors for diesel particulate on the building. No reason was given. Likewise, Bud Clark Commons homeless housing does not allow monitors. It is clearly a serious issue when management of public low income housing refuses to explore whether tenants are exposed to carcinogenic air pollution. We have had several complaints from tenants about diesel odors in their apartments from Amtrak idling all night long.

The Committee is pursuing other possibilities.

Next we took up the question of ESCO’s five year DEQ permit renewal, due in a year’s time, and the renewal of the ESCO GNA (Good Neighbor Agreement).

The current GNA was agreed by Neighbors for Clean Air and the then President of NWDA. The AQC was unhappy that the agreement accounted for only a 20 per cent reduction in highly toxic emissions and no monitoring allowed. The AQC also objected to no controls being placed on Slinger Bay, the building on 25th and Vaughn. The Committee wrote a Minority Report contesting the agreement,and is now looking for an environmental lawyer with expertise in air pollution to represent NWDA’s Air Quality Committee in any new ESCO GNA agreement.

Sharon announced the upcoming DEQ Air Toxics Advisory Committee meeting to set a new benchmark for diesel on October 21st.

Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee

Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee

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September 14, 2015, Breakfast Room Silver Cloud Inn

Present: Dale Feik, Edin Zulich, Bob L, Myriam Alaux, Joe Keller, David Arrow, Sharon Genasci

The meeting began with a reminder that ESCO’s current permit and the Good Neighbor Agreement (signed by the former NWDA Board President & Neighbors for Clean Air Chair) will expire in just under a year’s time.
We will need to decide how to prepare for new negotiations with ESCO for a new five year permit. The group decided to make a plan and then take it to the NWDA Board for further discussion.

David reported on the train idling problem with diesel particulate in his and other tenants’ rooms in their affordable housing near the train station. To date administrators of his building and Bud Clark Commons, housing for homeless also near the station, will not permit particulate monitors in their buildings. The EPA certified monitors were offered at no cost. He and other tenants plan to write to building administrators again
requesting the monitors.

Edin has a small child at home and is concerned about odors near his home on 20th and Quimby. Cascade Rubber, which makes parts for ESCO is located near his home. It has emissions that we have noted in the past, but have been unable to find out anything about what they are emitting because DEQ does not require a permit. DEQ told us they need more complaints from neighbors before they will take any action on the emissions. To date we have had complaints from three neighbors. We will continue to support the neighbors who would like to know what they are breathing.

Sharon passed round the Good Neighbor Agreement she and Kathy worked on with Good Sam. The Committee is very pleased with this clean diesel agreement with the hospital. NWDA Board President, Tavo Cruz, signed along with Jonathan Avery, Chief Administrative Officer, Good Sam
Hospital. We will post the agreement on our website.

Finally, Myriam raised the question how to get the City to protect mature and in some cases, historic trees that are being removed for development?
Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee

Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee, June 8, 2015

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Present: Myriam Alaux, Joe Keller, Kathy Sharp, Bob L, Jorjan Parker, Evan Farnham, Sharon Genasci

Kathy told the group that the new clean diesel GNA with Good Sam is in draft form, and will be decided most likely in the last week in June.

The train idling problem remains, sending diesel fumes and particulate into peoples’ homes near the train station. The committee has plans to deal with the problem. Details will be released later in the summer.

The committee discussed plans to reopen the agreement with Anderson Construction about using clean diesel in construction in the neighborhood. Sharon and Kathy will pursue this.

A meeting with Karen Karlsson, Juliet Hyams, Tavo Cruz, Kathy Sharp and Sharon Genasci to debrief on the year’s experience doing oversight on the Good Neighbor Agreement with John Residential (to use clean diesel in construction in the Con-way area) was held in Karen’s office. The consensus is that overall those involved are quite pleased with the work.

The main problems were with the low tier trucks that appeared a number of times on site. Eventually, the company was told that their tier 4 truck only was the one to be used on the New Seasons site. The group discussed how to avoid this problem in future. All agreed that the personnel assigned by John Residential to work with our NWDA (SLP Site Logistics Plan) group were excellent.

Sharon sent the group an article on the EPA grant to City of Roses in NE PDX to retrofit their equipment to tier 4, and purchase a new truck. Sharon Genasci, working with Kevin Downing at DEQ and Lisa Arkin at Beyond Toxics in Eugene submitted the grant in order to level the playing field, allowing minority and small contractors to compete in areas like the NW district Con-way area, where contractors must use tier 4 equipment in construction.
Submitted by Sharon Genasci

Minutes NWDA Air Quality Committee

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May 11, 2015

Present: Myriam Alaux, Joe Keller, Bob L, Sharon Genasci

Train idling is a problem for all those living now in fairly new housing, including low income housing, near the train station, where the Amtrak idles all night long. Several ideas for dealing with the problem were discussed. Kevin Downing at DEQ has spoken with train officials with no success about the diesel emissions going into peoples’ homes.

Sharon brought a draft of a Good Neighbor Agreement with Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital for clean diesel (tier 4 standard) in hospital construction and the hospital fleet.

This was a draft that Kathy Sharp produced after our committee’s last meeting with Legacy officials. Another meeting will soon be held to finalize the agreement.

Senator Denbrow’s Senate Bill 705 which deals with asbestos and lead emissions from demolitions was discussed.. Our committee offered testimony on this bill with John Sandie from United Neighbors for Reform,
a group that has convened for many months to take action on the number of demolitions throughout Portland that are completely unregulated. AQC members were disappointed that the current form of the bill now before the House, does not require enforcement or provide fees from developers to pay for certified asbestos and lead removal. More work has to be done to provide protection for neighbors.

Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee

NWDA Air Quality Committee Minutes, 4.13.15

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Present: Kathy Sharp, Bob L David Arrow, Evan Farnham, Jorjan Parker, Sharon Genasci

Demolition toxics was the subject of Sharon’s testimony in Salem and to Portland City Commissioners, however, the city seems to have decided not to deal seriously with the public safety issue.

The train idling situation continues, so we are in discussions to do some monitoring there for diesel particulate.

Kathy and Sharon met with Good Sam staff, who had prepared a hospital draft of our Good Neighbor Clean Diesel Agreement. They accepted in principle that tier 4 would be the standard for construction equipment for the new emergency room construction. They are also talking about clean diesel in their fleet. The AQC is looking over their draft to prepare for the next meeting.

Kathy described another incident at the hospital when power was off, and the generator was in use, flooding the mothers and babies unit with diesel fumes. There was a misunderstanding with the facilities department, who had failed to close the mothers and babies unit air intake, which is near the generator. Good Sam has promised to correct this problem.

Bob l prepared a summary of ESCO odor complaints on the AQC website, www.portlandair.org. All of these went to DEQ and to ESCO, as well as to our committee. In 2014, we received 62 complaints, 31 were about ESCO odors. In 2015, we received 17 complaints, 8 for ESCO.

The NAC (Neighborhood Advisory Committee for ESCO’s GNA), was held on April 16 at Friendly House. The annual tour of ESCO’s main plant on Vaughn will be on April 30th. It is open to the public, they will take the first 12 people to sign up. So if you are interested in seeing the plant, call Shannon Huggins at ESCO for information, 503 778 6772.

Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee

NWDA Air Quality Committee Minutes 3.9.15

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Minutes, AQC Meeting, 3.9.15
Silver Cloud Inn, Breakfast Room

Present: Kathy Sharp, Bob l, Myriam Alaux, Joe Keller, Greg Bourget, Jorjan Parker, Evan Farnham, Sharon Genasci

First we discussed the current clean diesel project with John Residential (New Seasons Store) which is going well. Our Site Logistics Plan Group meets with John Residential Engineer, Sarah Jimenez to discuss equipment on site. She also supplies us with bi weekly updates on lists of equipment planned for the coming weeks.

John Residential passed a copy of our Clean Diesel Agreement to Anderson Construction, who are building housing and a square nearby. Anderson then reached an informal agreement with us concerning some items in the John Residential Agreement. However, there will be no formal agreement as such.

Good Samaritan Hospital is meeting with us in April to discuss a clean diesel agreement, after we prepared a document for them based on the John Residential agreement.

The train idling problem continues, with trains idling all night near affordable and other housing units, where people are complaining of diesel particulate in their bedrooms. We are talking to some experts about monitoring for diesel particulate.

Sharon reported on UNR (United Neighborhoods for Reform) testimony to the City Council. She represented the NWDA Air Quality Committee, one of 41 neighborhoods in UNR. She testified with Judy Parsons from UNR on the toxic aspects of unregulated demolitions emitting asbestos and lead into neighborhood air when demolishing older homes and other buildings. Meetings with staff for most of the Commissioners followed. The City is currently exploring regulations and enforcement for future demolitions.

Sharon, Kevin Downing (DEQ) and Jill Long, attorney for Con-way, presented at a Clean Diesel session, based on the clean diesel agreement with CE John (now John Residential) at a neighborhood Summit. The neighborhood activist Summit was organized by ONI (Office of Neighborhood Involvement) and was held at the Ambridge Center on MLK on February 28.

Complaints on our website, (www.portlandair.org) about odors from ESCO and Cascade Rubber (they make rubber parts for ESCO on Quimby and 19th) are coming in again. And one complaint from a resident in new housing on Savior between NW 22nd and 23rd. These complaints are sent to DEQ and to the NWDA Air Quality Committee. Cascade Rubber, we are told by the City is “grandfathered in,” because the City odor ordinance was adopted on May 29, 1992. The business started before that date. The AQC is considering other options.

Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee

Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee 2.9.15

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Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee


Present: Bob L, Evan Farnham, Jorjan Parker, Greg Bourget, Sandy Ruhf, Sharon Genasci

Sharon updated the group on the Good Sam Clean Diesel agreement. At the request of Good Sam, Kathy Sharp drafted a Good Neighbor Agreement between Good Sam Hospital and NWDA Air Quality Committee. It is based on the agreement we made with John Residential and applies to all construction projects at Good Sam, as well as vehicles serving the hospital. The idea is that the Hospital does not want diesel particulate, a known carcinogen, in the rooms and around the hospital. Kathy will schedule a meeting with the staff to discuss the agreement.

The Site Logistics meetings with John Residential to look over the construction equipment for the New Seasons store are continuing. And we will eventually need new neighborhood inspectors. The AQC will deal with this.

Cascade Rubber was discussed again. The DEQ complaints person, Rob Vance, paid a visit to the manager of the facility, following our complaint and photos of the stack going off for over 45 minutes. We asked the DEQ to investigate what was in the emissions. The manager told Rob, that it was only steam. Sharon asked DEQ to monitor the stack for verification. He said that was another department, and he couldn’t ask them to do that. We decided to look for ways to monitor the plant.

Regarding train idling and diesel emissions, Kevin Downing has our dates to meet with Amtrak, and we are waiting for him to set up a meeting.

Kathy and Sharon met with Mark Horton of Anderson Construction to see if there was interest in a clean diesel agreement for construction in the Con-way area. He is talking with Anderson people to see whether there is interest.

Greg Bourget and Sandy Ruhf of portlandleanair.org explained their interest in canvassing the neighborhood for air pollution concerns and related data. They will collaborate with NWDA AQC. We will provide survey questions and other help as needed.

Finally, Sharon shared the testimony she will give on 2.12.15 to the City Council
On behalf of UNR (United Neighbors for Reform) a confederation of 40 Portland
neighborhoods, regarding the issue of the release of asbestos and lead in unregulated Portland demolitions.

Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee

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