Harvard Study Links Air Pollution with Premature Death

August 7, 2017

On June 28, 2017 the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health posted a press release on a Harvard New England Journal of Medicine study documenting the increased risk of premature death as a result of exposure to air pollution.

"Boston, MA - A new study of 60 million Americans—about 97% of people age 65 and older in the United States—shows that long-term exposure to airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone increases the risk of premature death, even when that exposure is at levels below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) currently established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers found that men, blacks, and low-income populations had higher risk estimates from PM2.5 exposure compared with the national average, with blacks having mortality risks three times higher than the national average.

The results showed that if the level of PM2.5 could be lowered by just 1 microgram per cubic meter (ug/m3) nationwide, about 12,000 lives could be saved every year. Similarly, if the level of ozone could be lowered by just 1 part per billion (ppb) nationwide, about 1,900 lives would be saved each year."

To access the release in full click on Nationwide study of U.S. seniors strengthens link between air pollution and premature death.

The LA Times also reported on this study in a 6/28/17 article by Tony Barboza:

"At a time when the Trump administration is moving to delay and dismantle air quality regulations, a new study suggests that air pollution continues to cut Americans' lives short, even at levels well below the legal limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The nationwide study of more than 60 million senior citizens linked long-term exposure to two main smog pollutants—ozone and fine particulate matter—to an increased risk of premature death.

The analysis found no sign of a safe level of pollution, below which the risk of dying early tapered off.

Harvard University scientists who conducted the study calculated that reducing fine particle pollution by 1 microgram per cubic meter nationwide would save about 12,000 lives each year. Another 1,900 lives would be saved annually by lowering ozone pollution by 1 part per billion, they found."

To access the article in full click on Air pollution exposure may hasten death, even at levels deemed 'safe,' study says .

For a 6/28/17 National Public Broadcasting (NPR) report on the same study, click on U.S. Air Pollution Still Kills Thousands Every Year, Study Concludes.

Four New York Times Articles on Aviation and Climate Change

August 5, 2017

To read the full article, click on its title.

Flying is Bad for the Planet. You Can Help Make it Better by Tatiana Schlossberg (7/27/17)

"Take one round-trip flight between New York and California, and you've generated about 20 percent of the greenhouse gases that your car emits over an entire year. If you are like many people, flying may be a large portion of your carbon footprint. Over all, the aviation industry accounts for 11 percent of all transportation-related emissions in the United States."

How a Warming Climate Will Trouble Air Travel by Aneri Pattani (7/17/17)

"Rising temperatures and more frequent heat waves could force up to 30 percent of airplanes to delay takeoffs in the coming decades, causing cancellations, missed connections and other hassles for passengers, and dealing a financial blow to the industry, a new study finds. As air warms, its density decreases. The wings of a plane moving down the runway on a hot day generate less lift. If it's hot enough, the plane won't be able to take off at all, according to the study, published in the journal Climatic Change."

Too Hot to Fly? Climate Change May Take a Toll on Air Travel by Zach Wichter (6/20/17)

"In recent days, American Airlines has been forced to cancel more than 40 flights in Phoenix. The reason: With daytime highs hovering around 120 degrees, it was simply too hot for some smaller jets to take off. Hotter air is thinner air, which makes it more difficult—and sometimes impossible—for planes to generate enough lift. As the global climate changes, disruptions like these are likely to become more frequent, researchers say, potentially making air travel costlier and less predictable with a greater risk of injury to travelers from increased turbulence."

Over 190 Countries Adopt Plan to Offset Air Travel Emissions by Henry Fountain (10/6/16)

"Governments from more than 190 countries on Thursday adopted a measure that for the first time will reduce the climate impact of international jet travel. The accord adds an exclamation point to a week in which enough countries signed onto the broader Paris climate deal to ensure that it will enter into force later this year."

File Aviation Noise Complaints

July 23, 2017

File aviation noise complaints by clicking on the following link: OAW Noise Complaint Form. (You can also find the link under the File a Complaint menu at the top of this page.)

The form allows you to craft your own message and send it to any or all of several agencies and institutions who are involved in aviation activity in our area. If you are subjected to repeated noise intrusions, feel free to file multiple complaints.

In addition we urge you to contact Governor Kate Brown's citizen line 503-378-4582 or Share Your Opinion Page to voice concerns, as she is responsible for appointing the members of the Port of Portland Board of Commissioners as well as the board members who serve on behalf of the State Board of Aviation.

You can also file complaints with the Department of Environmental Quality DEQ Hotline at 888-997-7888.

Washington County Residents Pelted by Aircraft Noise

Residents in Washington County are routinely plagued by frequent aviation noise intrusions. The biggest offender is the Port of Portland. Without public consent, a democratic vote of the people, or consideration for the environment, this state agency promotes and accommodates flight training activity on behalf of private training schools, the largest of which is Hillsboro Aero Academy, a school that is owned in large part by out of state investors.

The Academy trains pilots at two Port owned general aviation airports - Hillsboro and Troutdale. A review of the records suggests that 80 to 90 percent, perhaps more, of all take-offs and landings at the Hillsboro Airport are training operations. Many of the students are recruited from outside the country. The implication is that the Port and its FAA accomplice routinely invest public monies specifically to train foreign pilots. In so doing these agencies willfully and autocratically burden impacted communities with noise, toxic emissions, safety and security risks.

PCC Aviation Science Students Degrading the Environment and Livability

Student pilots enrolled in the publicly funded Portland Community College (PCC) Aviation Sciences program play a major role in undermining the livability and quality of life of area residents. PCC contracts with Hillsboro Aero Academy to provide the approximately 270 hours of flight training each student is required to log prior to receiving certification. To put this in perspective, 270 hours is equal to 11 days of noise per student. Assuming 100 students are enrolled, this translates into more than 3 years of noise, the impact of which is borne by people who are expected to foot the bill while being denied a voice in the process.

The disdain PCC has long demonstrated towards the community in regards to the environment, public health, and livability by investing public educational dollars in an effort to increase profits for themselves, the Port and private aviation business interests should prompt voters to question their support for future ballot measures. Why should taxpayers subsidize a school that aligns with totalitarian regimes, poisons the air, generates oft-times relentless noise, disrupts sleep, and leaves the community vulnerable to safety and security risks?

Pilot licensure also requires students to accrue night-time flying experience, which leads to sleep disruption and deprivation for impacted residents. In addition general aviation night flights are known to present additional risk factors. It is noteworthy that a July 2015 night-time helicopter crash in Newberg resulted in the death of the flight instructor and student pilot who was receiving training through Klamath Community College. The accident prompted the President of Klamath Community College to state that the school did not include night-time flying in its curriculum.[1] Sadly, PCC does not abide by this same restriction. On the contrary, PCC encourages its aviation science students to run roughshod over the rights of others both during day and night-time hours with no consideration whatsoever for those on the ground.

Aviation industry documentation cites a number of reasons for the heightened risk posed by night-time flying including, but not limited to, reduced visibility, increased spatial disorientation, and fatigue.[2]

Per a 2012 Plane & Pilot article,

"Accident statistics suggest that flying by night accounts for about 10% of the general aviation accidents, but 30% of the fatalities. That suggests night flying must be inherently more dangerous than aviating when the sun is up. The rules for night flying are more stringent in many countries than they are in the U.S., apparently in recognition of an increased level of risk."[3]

Despite these documented risks PCC, the Port, Hillsboro Aero Academy and others who place their self interest and personal gain above the greater good, continue to subject area residents to sleep disruption, health impacts, and safety risks associated with recreational flying and flight training in Washington County.

Sources

[1] House, Kelly. Man Killed in Newberg Helicopter Crash Identified as Klamath Community College Student. Oregonian/OregonLive. (7/5/17). Accessed on 7/23/17 at http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/07/aviation_student_instructor_wh.html.

[2] Trescott, Max. Night Flying Safety. AVweb. (11/6/05). Last accessed on 7/23/17 at http://www.avweb.com/news/airman/190849-1.html.

[3] Cox, Bill. Twenty Things You May Not Know About Night Flying. Plane & Pilot: Aircraft Mechanic School. (5/22/12). Last accessed on 7/23/17 at http://www.planeandpilotmag.com/proficiency/flight-training/20-things-you-may-not-know-about-night-flying.html?start=1#.VZrF7xtVhHw.

Burien Successfully Challenges FAA SeaTac Flight Path Change

May 16, 2017

A King 5 news report announced a decision by the FAA to stop a 2016 SeaTac flight path change that resulted in a dramatic increase in jet traffic over Burien. Due to extensive community outcry in conjunction with strong support from the City of Burien, the FAA backed down. See "Burien Declares Victory In Battle with FAA Over Flight Noise". for additional information and to access the report.

According to a February 14, 2017 petition filed on behalf of the City of Burien in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by attorneys Matthew Adams and Jessica Duggan from Dentons US LLP law firm in San Francisco,

"In the summer of 2016, without notice to the City or its residents, the FAA began experimenting with the New Route, resulting in significant noise impacts to parks, schools, residential neighborhoods, and other noise-sensitive areas...The City and its residents have suffered - and will continue to suffer - significant adverse impacts as a result of the FAA's New Route."

See http://burienwa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6913 to review petition. An additional media report on this topic is available at http://q13fox.com/2017/04/17/burien-sues-faa-to-stop-flights-overhead.

Congratulations to the Quiet Skies Coalition of Burien and the City of Burien for mounting this successful challenge.

5/4/17 Hillsboro Airport Master Planning Committee Meeting

April 30, 2017

The second Hillsboro Airport (HIO) Master Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for:

Date: Thursday, May 4, 2017
Time: 5:30 - 8:30 PM
Location: Hillsboro Civic Center
Address: 150 E. Main St., Hillsboro 97123

Draft minutes and other informational materials from the first meeting, held on February 27, 2017, are available at the Port of Portland (Port) website at: Hillsboro Airport Master Plan.

The HIO Master Planning Committee was formed to explore the future role of the airport. The potential for drone training at this facility will also be under consideration.

Background

HIO - Primarily a Flight Training Airport

The Port of Portland has owned and operated the Hillsboro Airport for over 50 years. The majority of flights at this facility are primarily on behalf of the flight training industry, especially Hillsboro Aero Academy (formerly Hillsboro Aviation), an international flight training school that contracts with China's state owned airlines and other foreign interests to provide pilot instruction to overseas pilots. Per the company's website: "Since 1980, thousands of professional pilots from over 75 countries have graduated from our flight training courses."

The noise and toxic pollution caused by flight training activity in combination with the other tenants and users of the airport has a direct impact on the health, well-being, and livability of area residents, who have historically been denied a democratic voice in the decision making process.

PCC - Flight Training, Noise and Toxic Pollution

Portland Community College (PCC) Aviation Science students are also major contributors to the negative impacts posed by this airport. PCC helicopter and airplane student pilots contract with Hillsboro Aero Academy for the flight training portion of their education.

A 6/4/13 Portland Tribune article on the Troutdale Airport, which is also owned and operated by the Port, sheds additional light on the significant role PCC plays in increasing aviation noise and pollution throughout the greater Portland Metropolitan area. To access the article, see Troutdale flight school is international cockpit for pilots.

As stated in the Tribune, "Hillsboro Aviation's Troutdale facility was opened on behalf of a request by Portland Community College to help grow their aviation flight program..."

HIO and Lead Toxicity

As a result of the symbiotic relationship between the Port of Portland, PCC and the aviation industry, Hillsboro Airport is now releasing a ton or more of lead into the air each year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), HIO is the largest facility source of airborne lead emissions in Oregon. In addition it ranks 21st nationwide among nearly 20,000 airports in toxic lead emissions.

The Scientific American articles below correlate repeated and chronic exposure to lead, even at levels previously considered to be safe, with the following conditions:

  • impaired cognition
  • attention deficit disorder
  • lower academic test scores for children
  • diminished IQs
  • psychiatric disorders
  • hypertension
  • arrhythmia
  • dementia
  • increase in violent crime rates
  • kidney damage
  • damage to central nervous system
  • red blood cell damage
  • decreased immune system functioning
  • likely carcinogen

A 2/17/13 Scientific American article by Mark Fischetti, Lead Exposure on the Rise Despite Decline in Poisoning Cases, reports that lead exposure continues to be a serious problem and further notes "that many of the health complications from lead arise even at low exposures." For the complete article see Lead Exposure on the Rise Despite Decline in Poisoning Cases .

A 9/13/12 Scientific American link poses the question: Does the Continued Use of Lead in Aviation Fuel Endanger the Public Health and the Environment? General aviation fuel is now responsible for more than 50% of the lead emitted into the air in the U.S. To access the article see http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lead-in-aviation-fuel.

HIO - Pollution

HIO is also a significant source of numerous other toxins. Per EPA documentation HIO is the largest facility source of acrolein, 1,3 butadiene, ethyl benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, organic carbon particulate matter 2.5, elemental carbon particulate matter 2.5, and carbon monoxide in Washington County. It is the second largest source of nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter 2.5 emissions and the third largest source of volatile organic compounds in this jurisdiction. All of the above pollutants are associated with potential negative health consequences - some are known carcinogens while others have a detrimental effect on the respiratory system and/or contribute to a number of serious medical conditions.

Stop Taxation Without Representation

Miki Barnes, LCSW
President of Oregon Aviation Watch
February 12, 2017

Taxation Without Representation is Tyranny

The phrase "taxation without representation is tyranny" is attributed to an 18th century Boston mayor, John Otis, in response to England's policy of taxing colonies in the absence of representative government. This, along with the unfair and unjust treatment perpetrated by the British crown, was one of the two triggering issues that ultimately led to the American Revolution. Generations of U.S. school children were taught that these injustices were resolved over 250 years ago when George Washington and his troops fought off the yoke of England's rule. Sadly, closer inspection reveals that in Oregon this is not the case.

A review of annual property tax bills shows that the Port of Portland (Port) has a decades-long history of levying taxes on Oregonians throughout the tri-county area. Yet the members of the board of commissioners who oversee Port affairs are appointed by the governor rather than elected by the constituents who are routinely impacted by Port policies and activities.

The State of Oregon enshrined the Port's taxing authority and other powers, including the right to pass ordinances, issue bonds and engage in many activities usually reserved for municipalities, in ORS 778. Despite the broad ranging powers accorded to the Port, no provisions for a democratic vote of the people have been established. As a result the Port is essentially a corporation with easy access to public money and land via taxation, eminent domain, and government hand-outs. Yet it remains woefully bereft of the transparency and accountability that elected representation confers.

The Port clearly exults in its ability to promote its corporate agenda while being shielded from those who routinely contribute to its tax base, so much so that it included the following excerpt in its 1991 centennial celebration literature:

After voters approved the Port of Portland Dock Commission merger in 1970, and the Legislature expanded the Port district to include Washington and Clackamas counties in 1973, an Oregonian reporter quipped that the increased reach of the Port gave it the authority "to do anything short of declaring war." "But," the Oregonian continues, "we're not even sure about that because they haven't tried it yet."[1]

In point of fact, there are a growing number of residents, especially those negatively impacted by aviation noise, lead emissions, toxic pollutants, social injustice and livability erosion, who feel that the Port, for all intents and purposes, has declared war on communities throughout the region. In fact, it is not unusual for people who are routinely and repetitively assailed by Hillsboro Airport's incessant flight training activity to say they feel like they're living in a war zone.

In this regard, the oppressive nature of British rule in the 1700s bears a striking resemblance to current times. Just as the colonists were marginalized by England's overreach, so too are area residents oppressed by the Port of Portland. Port policies that encourage, accommodate, and promote excessive aviation noise and pollution rises to the level of a full-on attack on the democratic process and the environment as well as the health of impacted residents. The Port's role in the Willamette River toxic Superfund site, the Terminal 6 labor travesty, and efforts to industrialize Hayden Island further exemplify the Port's long established history of exploiting the greater good in an effort to maximize their profits and those of the corporate entities they represent.

Thankfully, Senator Chuck Riley and Representative Gorsek have taken steps to restore democracy to the process by sponsoring Senate Bill SB 128 [2] and HB 2715 [3], respectively. These bills would create the Hillsboro Airport Authority and the Troutdale Airport Authority. Both would be overseen by a board of commissioners elected by voters residing in the impacted communities. This legislation will be discussed in greater detail later in this document.

Port of Portland Mission

According to the Port's website,

The mission of the Port is to enhance the region's economy and quality of life by providing efficient cargo and air passenger access to national and global markets, and by promoting industrial development.[4]

Neither pilot training nor recreational flying falls within the purview of the mission, yet the Port has routinely foisted the cost of two noisy, highly polluting general aviation airports onto the public, neither of which has generated significant revenue during the years the Port has owned and operated these facilities. As a result they chronically rely on public subsidies via the FAA and ConnectOregon to stay afloat. In the process the Port has become the largest source of airborne lead pollution in Oregon. It now pumps close to a ton or more into the environment each year at the Hillsboro Airport alone. Additional lead is released by the Troutdale and Portland International Airports (PDX).

Aviation-generated Pollution

In addition to noise and lead emissions, airports and aviation activity contribute to global warming and generate a host of other toxins. A review of the 2011 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Emissions Inventory (NEI) on Toxic Emissions [5] identifies HIO as the largest facility source of acrolein, 1,3-butadiene, ethyl benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, organic carbon particulate matter 2.5, elemental carbon particulate matter 2.5, and carbon monoxide in Washington County.[6] It is the second largest source of nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter 2.5 emissions and the third largest source of volatile organic compounds in Washington County. [7]

In order to deflect attention away from their culpability in exposing children and adults to lead and other toxins, Cleaner Air Oregon, DEQ, the Oregon Health Authority and the media tend to focus attention and verbiage on lead tainted drinking water in the schools and lead bullet dust at National Guard armories - both of which are indisputably serious issues that need to be addressed. Regarding stationary sources, in their response to Precision Castparts, Bullseye Glass and Uroborus, the governor and state agencies set in motion steps to address toxic pollutants released by private industry while steadfastly refusing to reduce and terminate the significant aviation pollution promoted by the Port of Portland commissioners - an approach that insures that airports, which are some of the biggest polluters in the entire state, continue to operate with minimal environmental oversight.

In choosing their language, the state agencies mentioned above ignore the largest source of airborne lead pollution in the country - piston engine general aviation aircraft. The EPA has identified this category of aircraft as responsible for 60% of airborne lead pollution in the U.S.[8]

Portland Opposes PDX Expansion, Shifts Air Traffic to HIO Instead

Evidence suggests that the Port's success in promoting its aviation agenda is achieved by intentionally pitting one community against another. All too often jurisdictions that perceive possible respite from aviation encroachment align with the Port. A prime example is the decision by the City of Portland to develop code prohibiting a third parallel runway at PDX. The code reads as follows:

Because the potential impacts of a third parallel runway at the airport are so significant, this section prohibits additional runways. The effect of the prohibition is that a legislative project to amend this plan district would be necessary to add a third runway. The legislative project would require the City and Port of Portland to engage the regional community in a cooperative effort to create a development plan for the airport that addresses transportation and infrastructure needs, as well as community impacts, by exploring alternatives to a potential third runway.[9]

Shortly after the city of Portland codified its opposition to a third parallel runway at PDX, the Port made a decision to construct a third runway at HIO, primarily to serve for-profit flight training interests and private pilots. For the record, the process did not involve the so-called "regional community" nor could it be described as a "cooperative effort." In fact, the runway was built despite a citizen challenge in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Port's strategy for building the HIO runway was achieved in large part by denying impacted residents a voice in the process. The tactics used suggest that Portland's concern about the environment doesn't appear to extend to those who live outside its boundaries. Over the years, a long succession of Oregon governors who claim Portland as their primary residence have either overtly or covertly aligned with Port efforts to shift operations from PDX to Hillsboro. A key strategy was to insure that decisions impacting Portland and Multnomah County residents were well represented on airport advisory committees by Portland's Office of Neighborhood Involvement, environmental interests and other impacted communities. By contrast, the Hillsboro Airport Roundtable Exchange (HARE) and the HIO Master Planning committees are dominated by Port appointees, most of whom are pilots and HIO business tenants along with Port and FAA employees.

Abundance of Capacity at PDX - Annual Operational Count at 30 Year Low

It is noteworthy that there is an abundance of capacity at PDX where the annual operational count has plummeted to a 30 year low. This 3,200 acre facility has experienced a 30% decline in operations over the past 16 years. As a result it currently logs fewer annual operations than it did in 1985. Portland officials were obviously responsive to the noise and environmental concerns expressed by their constituents. By contrast, they were more than willing to shift these negative impacts to Hillsboro residents.

In fact, in the late 1990s, Portland City Councilman Dan Saltzman successfully advocated to move PDX traffic to HIO without giving any consideration whatsoever to the health, environmental, and livability impacts on Washington County residents. For perspective, please bear in mind that HIO has less than one-third the acreage of PDX. In addition it is surrounded on three sides by residential communities and on the fourth by prime farmland. PDX by contrast is bordered by the Columbia River and industrial lands.

Similarly, the Portland, Vancouver, and Multnomah County representatives on the PDX Citizen Noise Advisory Committee (CNAC), has a history of dumping air traffic on HIO, rather than promoting inclusive democracy and social justice. The CNAC is yet another committee where Washington County residents lack effective representation except by pro-aviation expansion enthusiasts who often lobby on behalf of the aviation industry rather than the greater good.

More recently, a project advisory committee at the Port-owned Troutdale Airport recommended downsizing the runway at this facility and opening up nearly a sixth of the acreage for non-aviation related business and industrial development. Since that decision, Port statistics reflect a significant decrease in general aviation operations at Troutdale and PDX with a steady increase at HIO.

Exploitation and the Urban-Rural Divide

Portland has often viewed Hillsboro as the dumping ground for the excessive noise and toxicity linked to the aviation industry. The local government entities responsible for protecting the populace from these onslaughts are equally culpable. The five white men who serve on the Washington County Board of Commissioners along with the white male mayor and city council members who preside over the city of Hillsboro political machine are enough to make even Donald Trump swoon. These political entities have the support of media outlets such as the Hillsboro Tribune[10] which did not endorse a single female candidate or person of color for any of the open seats in the November 2016 election. The Tribune even goes so far as to list the Port of Portland as a business partner. This is apparently what passes for objective, unbiased reporting in the region.

Like Portland, the city of Hillsboro has also demonstrated its willingness to direct the excesses spawned by their symbiotic relationship with the Port and the aviation industry onto people residing in rural communities who are also denied a voice - a pattern that is well exemplified by actions taken by the Port and Hillsboro neighborhood groups during the mid 2000s to promote flight training at the Apple Valley Airport in Buxton - an effort that met with organized opposition from the local residents who incurred close to $200,000 in legal costs to prevent this airstrip from developing into a commercial flight training facility. In this instance, those impacted were compelled to engage in intensive and expensive legal actions to protect themselves from this onslaught.

The FAA and Port practice of encouraging student pilots to train over western Washington County residents provides further evidence of the exploitation of rural communities by the aviation interests.

Legislative Solutions

Senator Chuck Riley and Representative Chris Gorsek have each introduced legislation in the 2017 session, SB 128[11] and HB 2715[12], respectively, that could potentially protect residents from the lopsided, imbalanced politics currently permeating the state's approach to regional airport management. As stated in the bill summaries, the proposed legislation

Creates Hillsboro Airport Authority and Troutdale Airport Authority as divisions of Port of Portland. Provides that airport authorities operate independently of Board of Commissioners of Port of Portland. Provides that airport authorities have exclusive right to exercise all power and authority of Port of Portland with respect to Hillsboro Airport and Troutdale Airport.

Provides that airport authorities are composed of nine members elected from county in which airport is located.

The passage of these bills could help to insure that individuals impacted by Port of Portland airport policies would have the opportunity to elect representatives from their own communities. In addition, the monthly meetings held by the airport authorities would be held in the jurisdictions where the airports are located, instead of in Portland.

Regarding the toxic lead pollution caused by Oregon's airports, both Senator Riley and Representative Mitch Greenlick have sponsored legislation aimed at banning the use of leaded aviation fuel by January 2022. Senate Bill 115[13] and House Bill 2109[14] both address this issue.

Oregon Aviation Watch urges residents to encourage their elected officials to support these bills.

Conclusion

The phrase "Taxation without Representation is Tyranny" remains as relevant and pernicious in Oregon now as it was during the formative years of this nation. A genuine commitment to democracy demands that the fundamental voting rights of the electorate are honored and respected rather than repressed and denied and also insures a genuine regional approach that considers the environment and all impacted residents rather than allowing Portland to foist unjust and fundamentally toxic activities on neighboring jurisdictions. Instead of shifting highly polluting air traffic from one community to another, it's time to engage in a regional discussion about the broader impacts of allowing this to continue.

Other transportation alternatives are far less polluting and disruptive than aviation, most notably high-speed trains. Instead of promoting the misguided policy of subsidizing private aviation, Oregon should invest in building the Cascadia high-speed train corridor - a form of transportation that is far more environmentally sustainable and would also lead to significant job creation. In addition, unlike general aviation airports, it would serve the more than 99.5 percent of the population who can't afford to own, lease or travel via private jets, small planes or helicopters.

Sources

[1] Partners in Progress: Port of Portland Celebrates 100 Years 1891-1991.

[2] Senate Bill 128. 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly - 2017 Regular Session. Available on-line at https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB128/Introduced.

[3] House Bill 2715. 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly - 2017 Regular Session. Available on-line at https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB2715/Introduced.

[4] Fast Facts. Port of Portland website. Available on-line at http://www2.portofportland.com/Inside/FastFacts

[5] The 2011 National Emissions Inventory. Maps and Fusion Tables. Environmental Protection Agency. Available at https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] EPA Aircraft Emissions: Briefing for Mobile Sources Technical Review Committee. (5?5?15). Pg. 3. Available on-line at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-05/documents/050515mstrs_samulski.pdf.

[9] Port of Portland City Code 33.565.210 New Airport Capacity A. Purpose. Available on-line at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/348783.

[10] Hillsboro Tribune Editorial Board. Endorsement: Our picks for the November 8 General Election. (10/27/16). Available on-line at http://www.pamplinmedia.com/ht/118-hillsboro-tribune-opinion/329529-209277-endorsement-our-picks-for-the-november-8-general-election.

[11] Senate Bill 128. 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly - 2017 Regular Session. Available on-line at https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB128/Introduced.

[12] House Bill 2715. 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly - 2017 Regular Session. Available on-line at https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB2715/Introduced.

[13] Senate Bill 115. 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly - 2017 Regular Session. Available on-line at https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB115/Introduced.

[14] House Bill 2109. 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly - 2017 Regular Session.. Available on-line at https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB2109/Introduced.

Legislation to Address Negative Impacts of Aviation

January 11, 2017

In recent months members of Oregon Aviation Watch met with various Oregon Senators and Representatives to explore possible legislative solutions for addressing the negative impacts of aviation activity. We would like to extend our thanks to Senator Chuck Riley and Representatives Mitch Greenlick, Ken Helm, Susan McLain, and former Rep. Joe Gallegos for their support and advice throughout this process.

We are grateful and pleased to announce that there are now several bills in the Oregon legislature. Two are sponsored by Senator Riley:

Senate Bill 115
Phases out leaded aviation fuel, resulting in a ban on leaded aviation fuel use in OR by 2022. See https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Measures/Overview/SB115.
Senate Bill 128
Creates the Hillsboro and Troutdale Airport Authorities as divisions of the Port of Portland. See https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Measures/Overview/SB128.

In the House, Rep. Mitch Greenlick is sponsoring:

House Bill 2109
Prohibits the use of leaded aviation fuel as of January 1, 2022. See https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Measures/Overview/HB2109.

Please contact your senators and representatives to express support for this legislation.

Lead Toxicity

As elucidated in a 10/24/16 Earthjustice press release urging President Obama's Task Force on Environmental Health and Safety Risks to Children to put an end to lead poisoning and exposure of children (See Coalition Calls for End to Lead Poisoning and Exposure):

Lead is a potent neurotoxin with no safe level of exposure. Elevated blood lead levels harm young children's developing brains, leading to learning disabilities, loss of IQ points, and behavioral problems. Government scientists have concluded that lead is "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen." In addition, prolonged exposure to lead is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease and reduced fertility. The human body mistakes lead for calcium, prompting our bodies to store lead in our teeth and bones. Failure to prevent lead poisoning in childhood affects future generations: lead in pregnant women can cross the placenta and build up in breast milk, meaning children's harmful exposure to lead often begins before birth and continues through infancy...The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and independent scientists all agree that there is no safe level of human lead exposure. And yet, the CDC estimates that over a half million preschool age children in the United States have levels of lead in their blood high enough to require medical case management.

Hillsboro Airport ranks 21st out of nearly 20,000 airports nationwide in airborne lead emissions. This facility releases close to a ton of this pernicious toxin into the air each year during the landing and take-off phase of flight. Additional lead is emitted during pre-flight run-ups and in the cruise phase. Troutdale Airport is currently the largest source of lead emissions in Multnomah County. The majority of users of these airports are student pilots most of whom are training through the Hillsboro Aero Academy.

Hillsboro and Troutdale Airport Authorities - Senate Bill 128

The creation of Hillsboro and Troutdale Airport Authorities as divisions of the Port of Portland insures that elected representatives with accountability to the public would oversee these general aviation airports. To date, unelected Port of Portland commissioners routinely make decisions at meetings held in Portland. The residents who bear the brunt of the noise, environmental pollution, property devaluation, safety and security risks posed by these aviation business interests are seldom considered.

The Cost of Aviation Lead Pollution

Miki Barnes, LCSW
January 4, 2017

The article Lead Emissions in Planes May be Costing Billions in Lost Wages discusses the economic impact of lead pollution.

Specific to Oregon, the EPA has identified Hillsboro Airport as the largest source of lead emissions in Oregon. This facility emits 0.8 tons of lead per year during the landing and take-off phase of flight. Pre-flight run-ups are also a major source of lead pollution, however the Port of Portland opted not to include these emissions in their estimates. Other Port owned and operated airports - Portland International and Troutdale - also release lead into the environment on a routine basis, as do the many general aviation airports located throughout the state.

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