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

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”

NWDA Air Quality Committee Minutes April 14, 2014

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


Air Quality Committee Agenda, April 14th, 2014

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1.  Election of representative to Site Logistics Plan meetings under the Clean Diesel GNA with John Residential (we will need a quorum).
2.  Discussion about how we might work with the City to achieve some AQ goals.
3.  Discussion about continued Esco odor complaints.
4.  Need to put Kathy Sharp on the NAC as alternate (Neighborhood Advisory Committee, under Esco GNA)
5.  Discussion about collaboration with other neighborhoods on clean diesel initiatives.
6.  Discussion about collaboration with Good Samaritan Hospital to clean up diesel emissions from their generator.
7.  Discussion about odor complaints from Cascade Rubber Products.
8.  Annual meeting, NWDA, May 19th,6:00 p m, Good Sam Hospital (Wistar Morris Room)
9   Finalize a list of active AQC members.

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.

Air Quality Committee Agenda, February 10th, 2014

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Bob Amundson and Bob Holmstrom will share their inspection report of the Esco GNA Emission Reduction Projects #1 and #7. Project 1 was the dust collectors installed and operational for the capture and control of doghouse fugitives. Project 7 included the bag leak detection probes installed, calibrated and operational for the EAF and AOD bag houses. Bob A and Bob H are NAC representatives.

 Respond to our briefing to City Council of the Clean Diesel Conduct of Construction Good Neighbor Agreement. What’s next? Review of NWDA board discussion following briefing.

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

 After months without odor complaints the wind has shifted. New odor complaints, new sources

.NWDA Meet and Greet Event Thursday, Feb 13th. 6-8 pm. Lucky Labrador Beer Hall, 1945 Quimby Street. Northwest Neighbors and businesses are being invited to share concerns and learn about the latest community updates. Each committee is responsible for an informational booth. This is an opportunity to reach new members and to educate neighborhood residents on the work of our Air Quality Committee. Neighbors can learn where and how to make odor complaints and know what happens to the complaints. Can you help with this and join us for a beer?

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 Agenda January 13, 2014

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-          Esco GNA Emission Reduction Projects #1 and #7 are complete.  As per Project 1 the dust collectors are installed and operational for the capture and control of Doghouse fugitives per project 1.  The bag leak detection probes are installed, calibrated and operational for the EAF and AOD bag houses, per project 7.  The GNA allows for inspections within 60 days.   NAC members will be inspecting.

-          Clean Diesel Conduct of Construction Agreement.

o   Briefing the City Council on the Clean Diesel Conduct of Construction Agreement on January 22 @ 10:30 am.

o   Vote on our representative to the on-going Site Logistics Plan group.

-          Cascade Rubber Products.  What are our next steps?

-          Odor Complaints.

-          “What’s in Our Air” 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  Recently a trade of URL’s was pursued and failed.

NWDA Air Quality Committee Agenda 12.9.13

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• Update on Conway Agreement, CMAX funds, NWDA Board meeting.

• Discussion of meeting with Alex Yale, architect for Anderson Construction, a developer
working in the Con-way area.

• Odor complaints

• Cascade Rubber Products, 1828 Quimby. What will be the next step?

• Responses to meeting with Josh Alpert, the Mayor’s Sustainability Policy Director.

• What’s in Our Air? Should we do business cards to educate about odor complaints and
promote our work?

Hope to see you there.

Kathy Sharp, Acting Chair, NWDA AQC

Should home sellers disclose air pollution issues?

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A neighbor discusses the arguments in a recent article.

Read the Business Journal article here.

Approved Clean Diesel and Conduct of Construction GNA

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At the November 18th NWDA Board meeting, the “CE John and NWDA Clean Diesel and Conduct of Construction Good Neighbor Agreement: Conway Master Plan” was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors. The agreement is: final draft GNA 5761688_8; with two attached exhibits:

Conduct of Construction Exhibit C – Clean Diesel 10-24-13;

Conduct of Construction Exhibit D BMPs 11 15 13 – tom’s edits

This agreement addresses the following aspects of construction of the Con-way Master Planned properties:

  1. Diesel Emissions Reduction Management
  2. Access Management
  3. Traffic Management
  4. Safety, Security and Construction Site Management

The agreement was originally to be with Con-way, through this arrangement places the term of the agreement in the hands of Con-way’s master developer who will own and manage the projects as they unfold. Thomas DiChiara, Senior Vice President of Development for CE John attended the meeting and expressed the firm’s commitment to clean and well-managed projects in the Northwest district. CE John has already constructed major projects in the neighborhood including the Benevento, the Ida Fuller and Sawyer’s Row. All have received positive feedback from the NWDA’s Planning Committee.

While Exhibit D, above, is in final form, Exhibit C is subject to adjustment as it is employed for the first project, as that technical scoring framework is new and untested.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality that supported this effort is awaiting final word on a Federal Highway grant that would assist with the retrofit of construction equipment to meet current EPA clean diesel standards.

NWDA has been led in this effort by Board member, Kathy Sharp, and Air Quality Committee Chair, Sharon Genasci, with further support from Board President Phil Selinger and environmental attorney, David Paul. DEQ also provided valued support.

The NWDA is appreciative of the voluntary engagement of both Con-way and CE John in the preparation of this draft agreement. Much work remains to apply the agreement to the first Con-way Master Plan property, Block 296, which will include a New Seasons grocery store. That project is scheduled to break ground in early 2014.

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