By Greg Bourget | Portland Clean Air
Portland currently ranks as the worst city in the U.S. for respiratory distress from air pollution. That’s according to the EPA’s most recent National Air Toxics Assessment, released in 2015 using 2011 data.
With this in mind, our Portland Clean Air (PCA) volunteers conducted data requests about industrial stack polluters and unfiltered diesel trucks from nine government agencies during the past three years. PCA is a registered Oregon political action committee and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
We collaborate with 27 other airfocused Portland environmental groups and neighborhood associations. We address industrial pollution in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties.
The organization has been working with Concordia Neighborhood Association (CNA) to compile the data into a report localized to the neighborhood.
But there’s more work ahead, and more volunteers are needed to alleviate the problem more quickly. It took neighbors 42 years to identify that Bullseye Glass was annually putting 6,000 pounds of lead, cadmium, arsenic and chromium into their unfiltered furnace. Eighty-five percent of these heavy metals went airborne next to a daycare in inner southeast Portland.
Now they have a scrubber removing 97 percent of the emissions because of the political efforts of their neighbors.
PCA needs Concordians to help study every unfiltered industry and truck fleet in the neighborhood. That’s what it takes for immediate and reasonable mitigation to be requested for any nearby Bullseyelike factories and unfiltered truck routes.
Would you like to help? From the comfort of your home, you can compile data and analysis. Previous science or data experience is welcome, but not required.
Volunteers each receive an Excel spreadsheet or other digital data source via email or website and, following explicit instructions, copy or type the data that pertains to the Concordia neighborhood.
Analysis volunteers follow similar instructions aimed at identifying industries with dangerous unfiltered air pollution.
With your neighbors – working with CNA and PCA – you can help make the nearby air safer. For details and to volunteer, contact Greg@PortlandCleanAir.org.