Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group

Meeting Notes – December 2019

Submitted by Sarah Taylor 12-28-2019

Next meeting

The monthly CAG Meeting is Wednesday January 8th at 6:00 pm at the BES Water Lab

Topic- Wildlife in the Portland Harbor – Habitat needs and impact

November and December were busy months for PHCAG.

Multnomah County Health Meeting (11/26/19)– This is the second meeting in which various community members and agencies tried to come to an agreement on collecting data on the health impacts of the Portland Harbor.  No agreement was made to collect or put together data.  PHCC made a plea for not changing the Record of Decision to allow for a reduced clean-up, based on data that they believe is not completely relevant to the Portland Harbor clean-up.  This was not met with much support and nothing was agreed on as how to collect data regarding human health.  At this point, evaluation of chemicals, through the IRIS data base is the only method of evaluating health risks.   Sarah suggested that we look at the social determinants of health in the Portland Harbor but this was not met with much enthusiasm.  This might include graduation rates, poverty, birth outcomes, loss of housing, etc.   She suggested asking cancer patients if they had contact with the harbor. 

PHCAG Steering Committee (11/26/19)  The steering committee met the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  We agreed to present information on Wildlife at the next CAG meeting and worked on the city outreach grant.  We are continuing to look at space at the Samoan Church.  There is an on-going need to have more members on the steering committee.

EPA Meeting with leaders(12/10/19) –  PHCAG and other groups were invited to meet with EPA officials from Washington DC.  People expressed frustration with the length of the clean-up and fear that industry was listened to more than the community.   It was expressed that all remedial design plans were due by December 30 and community members, wanted to know what if anything might happen should industry refuse to submit a design.  The community was assured an answer the first week of January.

November CAG meeting – We all enjoyed a brilliant presentation on a Cap project done in the Columbia River.  It was exciting to hear so many details of an actual clean-up.  Jessica, from the City of Portland, explained the new grant to find out what information people needed to keep up to date with the clean-up.

December EPA / DEQ/ CAG meeting (11/12/19)– Many community groups met at the Polish Library to discuss the Leaders Group Protocols and to get updates on the clean-up. Willamette Cove was well represented and expected to turn in their plan shortly. EPA. DEQ and government staff were present.

 PHCAG Steering Committee members present at these meetings

  • Michael Pouncil
  • Sarah Taylor
  • Doug Lawson
  • Jackie Calder ( by Phone at the Meeting with EPA leaders from national office)