Air Quality Committee

whatsinourairThe NWDA Air Quality Committee, known as the Health and Environment Committee until a name change in February 2012, strives to monitor and improve the quality of the air in the Northwest neighborhood with the goal of creating a healthy environment for everyone living, working in, and visiting the neighborhood. Sharon Genasci chairs the Committee.

The single most important action is that citizens complain to DEQ when they smell industrial odors in the neighborhood.
Click here to go directly to the odor complaint form.

Black and White PDF format
Color PDF format

Tell them about the industrial odors you experience in Northwest Portland’s air.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales –
US Senator Ron Wyden –
City Commissioner Amanda Fritz –

If you are concerned about diesel emissions, call Kevin Downing at ODEQ (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality) tel. 503 229 6549, email, and submit an odor complaint at

Legacy Health and NWDA GNA Final (PDF)
NWDA Health & Environment Committee GNA Minority Report (PDF)
Air Quality Monitoring Program for Northwest Portland, Interim Report (PDF)
Air Quality Monitoring Program for Northwest Portland, Interim Report #2 (PDF)
Air Quality Monitoring Program for Northwest Portland, Final Report (PDF)
Air Quality Committee Achievements 1994-2012 (PDF)
Air Quality Committee Work Plan Draft (PDF)

Currently, the Air Quality Committee is working on a good neighbor agreement with Conway to achieve clean diesel construction in the Conway master plan area over the next 10 years.
Join us and help with this effort. AQC meetings are the second Monday of every month at the Sliver Cloud Inn breakfast room (NW Vaughn and 24th Place at 7pm).
Here are some links to clean diesel information and videos:
Report Finds Dirtier West Coast Trucks End Up In Oregon
City Club Report – Invisible Enemies: Reducing Air Toxics in the Portland Airshed
Watch EPA video “Breathing Clean by Building Green”

Informative and entertaining documentary on diesel, causes and solutions
Filmed in Portland, Oregon by Savannah Teller-Brown

NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting Agenda

October 12, 2015 7:00 pm
Breakfast Room, Silver Cloud Inn, NW 24th Place & Vaughn

1. Update on train idling
2. Discussion and agreement on a plan for the next ESCO five year permit renewal and GNA, to be presented to NWDA Board
3. Cascade Rubber emissions
4. DEQ Air Toxics Science Advisory Committee meeting to set new benchmark for diesel, Oct. 21st
5. Other business

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

NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting Agenda

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September 14th, 7:00 pm, Breakfast Room, Silver Cloud Inn, NW 24th Place and Vaughn

1. Esco, new permit discussion – Sharon
2. Monitoring, diesel particulate update
3. Fuel smells on the river
4. Cascade Rubber emissions
5. Clean Diesel agreement signed with Good Samaritan – Kathy
6. Con-way developments – Sharon
7. Other business

Agenda, NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting, July 13, 2015

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July 13, 2015

(Breakfast Room, Silver Cloud Inn, 24th Place and Vaughn, 7:00 pm, July 13, 2015)

1. Train idling update – Sharon & Bob L
2. ESCO rezoning update & discussion
3. ESCO permit discussion
4. Status of Good Sam Clean Diesel Agreement

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

Agenda, NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting, June 8, 2015

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June 8, 2015

Agenda, NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting

Breakfast Room, Silver Cloud Inn, NW 24th Place & Vaughn, 7:00n pm

1. Update on Clean Diesel Agreement, Good Sam Hospital – Kathy

2. Train Idling update – Sharon

3. Update, Anderson Construction Clean Diesel agreement – Kathy

4. Status of John Residential Clean Diesel Site Logistics Plan oversight Agreement – Kathy & Sharon

5. Examiner, NWDA Board information re: AQC

6. Article on City of Roses recycling grant to retrofit for clean diesel to tier 4 – Sharon

7. Possible rezoning industrial area for housing – Sharon

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 Agenda

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May 11, 2015

Agenda, NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting

7:00 pm, Breakfast Room, Silver Cloud Inn, NW 24th Place & Vaughn

1. Train Idling – Monitoring for diesel particulate. Update – Sharon & David
2. Good Sam Clean Diesel Agreement, update
3. Status of SB 705- asbestos and lead in demolitions
4. Other Business

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, 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, ( 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

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