LISTENING TO THE COMMUNITY
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QUALITY OF LIFE
for more detail on an issue, please click on the issue above.
by Jim Robison and Jackie Calder
October 10, 2015
by Aaron Mesh, Willamette Week,
March 27, 2012
WE NEED CLEAN AIR
WE NEED CLEAN WATER
Air: we have a lot of work to do. Oregon DEQ has failed to protect Portland's air, and we should consider a regional air quality overseeing body.
Water: we have a lot of work to do. The big one is the superfund site in the Willamette that will begin cleanup after a plan presented by the EPA is approved.
Portland used to be a national leader in Environment, let's get back to this leadership position.
Portland's air looks pretty clean compared to many other US cities that have visible smog. But a lot of toxics in our air are not as visible. Portland's air is making people sick. We got a wake up call in early 2016, with emissions from 2 glass factories. There are many more toxic hotspots that we need to address. It's time to effectively improve our air quality with or without DEQ.
From Neighbors for Clean AIr: "The recent news that the air in parts of Southeast and North Portland contains alarming levels of cadmium and arsenic—elements known to cause cancer—is clear proof that Oregon's air quality regulations are not working.
There is plenty of evidence that this shocking air pollution in Portland is not an isolated case:
Oregon has the third largest population at risk of excess cancer due to air pollution behind only California & New York. (1)
117 Oregon schools fall in the worst 10% nationally for exposure to industrial pollution.
Diesel particulate matter (from trucks, construction equipment and rail yards) is responsible for approximately 460 premature deaths a year in Oregon. That's more than those who die from homicide and drunk driving, combined." (2)
Diesel. Our neighboring states, California and Washington, have more stringent regulations for diesel emissions. As a result, Oregon has become a dumping ground for dirty diesel trucks, construction equipment, busses and other diesel engines. In the 2017 state legislative session, Oregon needs to address this issue, and get in line with other states for cleaner diesel emissions.
Clean water is essential for Portland's quality of life. We've made progress, but we need to do more.
Superfund Site (Portland Harbor between the Fremont Bridge and the mouth of the Willamette). The EPA will present what is proposed to be cleaned up in the next decade.
"The Portland Harbor Superfund Site in Portland, Oregon, is the result of more than a century of industrial use along the Willamette River.
Water and sediments along Portland Harbor are contaminated with many hazardous substances, including heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), dioxin, and pesticides. These compounds have been found to be harmful to people and the environment. Because of the contamination, some types of fish found in Portland Harbor, such as bass, carp and catfish currently pose a health risk to those who eat them."(3)
Let's get to an agreement and start this decade-long process.
Our natural areas define us and are a huge part of our quality of life.
Portland. more parks, improve tree canopy, maintain wildlife preserves.
Columbia River Gorge. The Gorge is a national natural wonder and we are so lucky to have it so close to us. As we get larger, there will be constant pressures that could diminish the quality of the place. Let's work together to insure that the Gorge keeps with the spirit of the National Scenic designation. Thank you Friends of the Columbia Gorge.
1. More Eco Roofs
2. More Solar
3. More Net Zero
4. Reduce nightime lighting
Intensify Brownfield cleanup and reuse - let's put density on some of these sites.
Graphic by Neighbors for Clean Air
REFERENCE - DIESEL
Taras Grescoe, New York Times, January 2, 2016
Taras Grescoe is the author of “Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves From the Automobile.
I am an avid Gorge hiker
(1) According to the U.S. EPA's National Air Toxics Assessment.
(2) Based on data from EPA.
(3) EPA Website: https://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/CLEANUP.NSF/ph/Portland+Harbor+Superfund+Site