AQC (Air Quality Committee) Meeting Minutes, 9.8.14
Breakfast Room, Silver Cloud Inn , 7:00 pm
Present: Kathy Sharp, Bob L, Jorjan Parker, Evan Farnham, Sharon Genasci
There was some discussion about the signage at the New Seasons Store, the first project under the Clean Diesel Agreement with John Residential. As part of the agreement we had discussed the use of signage at the site to notify neighbors of the reduction in diesel during construction. The sign will read, “Clean Diesel Works Here, Reducing Diesel Emissions During Construction” There Was agreement that this was appropriate.
It was decided that we might look to the City to get help with old, diesel trucks, such as those used during excavation, which still remain a problem.
Kathy presented a rough draft of her submission for the Comprehensive Plan from the AQC. Committee members were asked to look it over and make suggested changes. The AQC would like to see the City issuing building permits that require measures to reduce emissions into Portland’s airshed.
One person gave the example of a recent open, asphalt kettle streaming pollution in NW Neighborhood air for the last three weeks.
Kevin Downing, at a recent EPA conference on diesel wrote the committee that the clean diesel agreement with John Residential was used at the conference as an example of successful neighborhood activism.
Several complaints about ESCO odors were received recently.
. NWDA Air Quality Committee Minutes
Present: Bob L, David Arrow, Judy Grace, Myriam Alaux, Joe Keller, Scott Becker, Evan Farnham, Jorjan Parker, Sharon Genasci
Sharon reported on several meetings of the Site Logistics Plan group of the John Residential clean diesel good neighbor agreement. The SLP as it is called, was designed to provide oversight for the GNA (Good Neighbor Agreement) to verify that the terms of the agreement are being met by the developer. John Residential have sent full details of equipment as it comes on site.
The data is evaluated by both developer and the neighborhood clean diesel committee, using a Chicago formula to determine the degree to which tier 4 is being attained. Tier 4 is the best retrofit to reduce diesel particulate, which is of most concern. Tier 4 was the level of retrofit agreed in the GNA.
To date we are all learning to use the formula. The committee is working well, and we have been on site to see that most excavation is now complete on the first project (between NW 22nd and 21st and Raleigh) which will be housing and a New Seasons Store. The process is the beginning of a ten year agreement, and some kinks still need to be worked out.
David gave an update on his and Judy’s continued problems at their low cost housing site next to the Railroad Station. The Amtrak trains are idling many hours during the night and diesel fumes are entering their apartments. Neighbors from housing nearby also have complained to DEQ.
This is a problem that has not been currently solved. AQC are working with Kevin Downing at DEQ to see whether a smaller electric engine can be used for idling. We hope to meet with Amtrak officials to see what can be done.
Kathy Sharp is out of town, so Sharon reported on discussions she and Kathy have had with Good Samaritan Hospital about a clean diesel agreement concerning hospital owned vehicles and delivery vehicles to the hospital using clean diesel. The agreement would also include replacing a 50 year old generator. Originally Good Sam planned to replace it in three years. Now it is scheduled for replacement in 18 months.
There was some discussion about the monitoring plan scheduled for Chapman School, under the GNA with ESCO. The group was disappointed that the Chapman School site will not provide information about the results of controls ESCO put on to reduce their toxic emissions.
Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee
Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting
May 12, 2014
Present: Kathy Sharp, Bob L, Evan Farnham, Jorjan Parker, Sharon Genasci
The NWDA Air Quality Committee is applying for an EPA grant to extend to other projects the Committee’s clean diesel work for the Con-way Master Plan area of the neighborhood (20 acres in the NE corner of the NW neighborhood). The Committee participated with NWDA Board President, Phil Selinger and Kevin Downing from DEQ to negotiate with Con-way and CE John to use tier 4 retrofits (highest reduction of diesel) on construction equipment in the Con-way area over ten years. The first project will be a New Seasons grocery store for NW 22nd and Raleigh. The final agreement, which includes oversight by the neighborhood, was with CE John, who has since reorganized to form a new development company called Cairn Pacific LLC. John Residential Group will remain the contractor for the New Seasons project, scheduled to start work building in mid June.
The new EPA grant application will focus mainly on low income and minority sub-contractors, providing funding for tier 4 retrofits. The AQC is working on this project with Kevin Downing as a consultant, as well as Lisa Arkin at Beyond Toxics in Eugene.
Kathy Sharp briefed the Committee on the meeting with Thomas Bickett, System Director, Facility Operations. Legacy Health (Good Sam Hospital) and Megan Turnell, Public & Community Relations Specialist, Good Sam. Kathy, Sharon and Kevin Downing, DEQ, continued prior discussions held at an NWDA Board meeting with Jonathan Avery, the new CEO at Good Sam, about the urgent need to replace the hospital generator (fifty years old). The generator, which is tested every month, emits large amounts of diesel pollution into some of the hospital rooms. Currently, the generator is scheduled for replacement in 18 months time. They also discussed Kevin’s suggestion to use clean diesel for all hospital related vehicles. They did agree to shut off the hospital air intake when the generator is being tested or used.
Bob l spoke about the continued odor complaints, mostly about ESCO odors and emissions. These complaints on the AQC website, www.portlandair.org, describe the ongoing problems in the neighborhood, particularly along Thurman and streets nearest to the industrial area, in spite of the controls (20 per cent reduction over five years) in the Good Neighbor Agreement with ESCO.
AQC members were urged to attend the NWDA Annual General meeting and election on May 19th, 6:00 pm, Wistar Morris Room at the Good Sam main building, 1015, NW 22nd.
Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee
Present: Bob L, Evan Farnham, David Arrow, Judy Grace, Sharon Genasci
First item of business was the election of the representative from the AQC to the Site Logistics Plan meetings under the Clean Diesel Good Neighbor Agreement with John Residential in the Con-way Master Plan area. Sharon received a unanimous vote to be the representative from the AQC.
The group went on to discuss how the neighborhood might work in partnership with the City to implement clean diesel agreements in other parts of Portland, in order to reduce diesel emissions throughout the city. Diesel is a known carcinogen.
Two people at the meeting then raised the issue that their housing, which is located next to the railroad station in downtown Portland, is being polluted by diesel on a regular basis when trains are idling, particularly during the night. The Committee will work on this.
Regarding the Clean diesel Good Neighbor Agreement with John Residential, the first Site Logistics Plan meetings will be for the construction of the New Seasons Grocery on NW Raleigh and 22nd. We don’t have a definite start date for construction yet, because of pending permits.
The AQC also would like to see Good Samaritan Hospital use clean diesel. Opportunities exist within their fleet, vehicles delivering goods to the hospital and especially their aged back-up generator, which is tested monthly and put into operation when there is a power cut. Diesel fumes fill the neighborhood and are brought into hospital units through the air systems.
Sharon and Bob pointed out that odor complaints about ESCO are continuing, in spite of the GNA agreed with ESCO several years ago and the improvements they have made.
A meeting of the NAC (Neighborhood Advisory Committee under the GNA) is scheduled for April 25th at 9:00 am at Friendly House. The public is free to attend.
The AQC voted unanimously to choose Kathy Sharp as an alternate to the NAC from NWDA.
Sharon Genasci, Chair, NWDA Air Quality Committee
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.