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.

WHEN YOU SMELL IT, REPORT IT
The single most important action is that citizens complain to DEQ when they smell industrial odors in the neighborhood.
FILL OUT AN ODOR COMPLAINT FORM
Click here to go directly to the odor complaint form.

DOWNLOAD A “What’s in our air” SIGN TO PRINT AND PUT IN YOUR WINDOW
Black and White PDF format
Color PDF format

CONTACT OFFICIALS
Tell them about the industrial odors you experience in Northwest Portland’s air.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales – mayorhales@portlandoregon.gov
US Senator Ron Wyden – http://wyden.senate.gov/contact/
City Commissioner Amanda Fritz – amanda@portlandoregon.gov

If you are concerned about diesel emissions, call Kevin Downing at ODEQ (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality) tel. 503 229 6549, email, downing.kevin@DEQ.state.or.us and submit an odor complaint at www.portlandair.org/odorcomplaint.

AIR QUALITY DOCUMENTS
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)

LEARN MORE
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
http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/diesel
http://northeastdiesel.org/construction.html
Watch EPA video “Breathing Clean by Building Green”
http://www.catf.us/diesel
http://dieselcleanup.org
http://www.catf.us/diesel/dieselhealth

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

Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee, June 8, 2015

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, 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

NWDA Air Quality Committee Agenda, 3.9.15

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NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting Agenda

(Breakfast Room, Silver Cloud Inn, 24th Place and NW Vaughn, 7:00 p.m.)

3.9.15

1. Clean Diesel Projects – Sharon and Kathy update

2. Neighborhood Summit update – Sharon

3. Demolitions update – Sharon

4. Train Idling

5. Monitoring – discussion all.

6. Canvassing – Greg update

Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee 2.9.15

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Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee

2.9.15

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

NWDA Air Quality Committee Agenda, 2.9.15

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February 9, 2015

Agenda, NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting, Breakfast Room, Silver Cloud Inn, NW 24th Place and Vaughn

1. Good Sam Clean Diesel Agreement
2. Site Logistics for John Residential Clean Diesel Agreement
3. Cascade Rubber update
4. Train idling update
5. Clean Fuels discussion
6. Demolitions, releasing lead and asbestos

Minutes, NWDA Air Quality Committee Meeting, 1.12.2015

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1.12.15
NWDA Air Quality Committee Minutes

Present: Kathy Sharp, Bob L, Sharon Genasci

Kathy reported the AQC 2015 Work Plan passed the Board with one word change, which was duly put into the plan.

Cascade Rubber was emitting white steam/smoke from its stack on 20th and Quimby for over 45 minutes. Kathy took a photo with her I phone, which was sent in to DEQ with a report on our complaint site, www.portlandair.org. Rob Vance, DEQ Complaints Officer called Sharon to say he had been to the plant and talked with the Manager (they produce rubber parts for ESCO) and that the emissions were steam.

Sharon explained that we have had at least 4 complaints about odors and emissions, and neighbors want to know what is in the emissions? The plant is not permitted, and Rob didn’t know what was in the “steam” besides water. Sharon suggested DEQ monitor the plant, since it is closely surrounded by new housing blocks. Rob said he couldn’t do anything about monitoring, that was a different DEQ department.

We will look for someone to monitor it.

Next we talked about our discussions with Good Sam to use clean diesel in all new construction, and vehicles serving the hospital. They have asked us to produce a draft of a GNA for Good Sam to sign, based on our agreement with John Residential. Kathy reported that she has now drafted an agreement document for our next meeting.

Sharon and Kathy reported on the Site Logistics meetings to oversee the GNA with John Residential. These are going well – a few snags, mostly old trucks are the main problem. Funds promised to John Residential during our negotiations, are still in the works, and hopefully will arrive soon.

Train idling is a problem with two of our members who live next to the train station in low income housing. Amtrak trains idle at the station all night, filling their rooms with diesel odors. We are working with Kevin Downing to solve this problem.

Wendy Chung (NWDA Board) is working with us on demolition caused emissions of
lead and asbestos, which are not being properly controlled during some demolitions.

A NAC meeting was held on January 15th (ESCO Neighborhood Advisory Committee meeting). Kathy, Bob L and Sharon were present.

Sharon Genasci, Chair, AQC

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