H&E Minutes – September 14, 2009
Present: Bob Amundson, Paul Koberstein, Kitty Midson, Bob L., Bob Holmstrom, Chia Yin Hsu, Monica Russell (DEQ), Caroline Skinner, Jo Wilson Greenstreet, Biljana Milkovska, Conde Cox, Mary Peveto, Allan Classen, Sharon Genasci .
Monica Russell briefed the group on the status of the new DEQ permit for Esco (Esco’s permit expired in August, and they have applied to DEQ for a new five year Title V permit). DEQ has now decided on a one to two year public process that will bring the public into the permit process more than in the past. The draft writing of the permit will not occur until a public meeting chaired by Mitch Greenlick has completed its object of raising issues for the permit. There was some concern that neighbors will continue under the current Esco permit with its toxic emissions for one to two years before a new (hopefully improved) permit is in place.
Bob Amundson spoke about the history of H & E’s work to clean up the airshed in NW Portland beginning in the mid 1990s. He began by talking about DEQ benchmarks. Benchmarks were set by the DEQ Science Advisory Committee, one of whose members was Candice Hatch, an Esco contract employee and a member of the Executive Committee of AOI (Associated Oregon Industries). In the DEQ job description for members of the Science Advisory Committee there were to be no conflicts of interest.
Sharon Genasci wrote to DEQ at the time and protested the appointment of a prominent industry representative on a board setting health benchmarks for the state. She is still on that committee, and was known to influence the committee to raise the benchmark for diesel emissions. H & E committee argued for adopting the more stringent California standards at the time.
Dr. Amundson spoke about the DEQ strategy of characterizing the main problems of air pollution coming from individual sources such as lawn mowers or hair spray, rather than dealing with large industrial sources.
Part of that DEQ effort has been to approach air pollution from a regional perspective, tending toward averaging pollution doses over large areas, rather than dealing with high doses over long periods to people living near pollution sources.
Bob Holmstrom reported on a meeting he had with Esco’s Carter Webb .
He gave Mr. Webb information about foundries that have cleaned up their emissions, and asked him to consider taking this step for the neighborhood.
He also met with Earl Blumenauer, who is more familiar with water issues, but was interested to hear about NW neighborhood air pollution problems.
Conde Cox gave a brief explanation of MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) a DEQ pollution control of sources. There was some discussion of Esco’s emissions being greater than the limits of its synthetic minor designation.
Mary Peveto spoke about her meeting with Andy Ginsberg, Head of the Air Division at DEQ. Andy was reporting on Dick Pederson’s response to Mary’s meeting with him. Part of his response is the new public process for the Esco permit, which will take one to two years. Another response is that DEQ is considering arranging for an independent audit of Esco to see what technologies could be utilized to reduce emissions. Our committee asked for this audit several years ago. DEQ did not, however, agree to our selecting the auditor. (We plan to select someone who is familiar with foundries and best technologies for pollution reductions).
- Sharon Genasci