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Growing grass-roots pressure leads to victories at the city of Portland, Multnomah County, TriMet, and, perhaps, at Oregon Legislature.

COURTESY: CASCADIA TIMES  - The Brooklyn Yard near Southeast Holgate Boulevard and 17th Avenue, is a hot spot for diesel fumes. Things are heating up in the campaign to rid Portland's air of toxic diesel fumes.

On Sept. 20, the Portland City Council and Multnomah County Board of Commissioners jointly vowed to eliminate the use of "dirty diesel" vehicles and off-road construction equipment deployed on building projects they help fund. Then on Sept. 26, the TriMet board adopted the 2018 TriMet Non-Diesel Bus Plan, which promises to shift the nation's 11th-largest municipal bus fleet totally off diesel-fueled buses by 2040.

That same day, more than 100 residents, including health specialists and public officials, attended a town hall on diesel pollution in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Southeast Portland, home to the Brooklyn Rail Yard, a prime source of diesel fumes, according to a new report in Cascadia Times, an on-line environmental journal.

MAP BY OREGON DEQ -  A computer model shows that diesel pollution near the Brooklyn Railyard in Southeast Portland poses a cancer risk of up to 10 times the level considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency.In a lengthy and authoritative article titled "Portlanders Demand Action Against Diesel Pollution," Paul Koberstein and Jessica Applegate reported on testimony at the Brooklyn meeting, and discuss the growing citizens' movement in Oregon against diesel fumes.

"The more we learn about diesel pollution, the worse it looks," they quote Dr. Patrick O'Herron, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility board president, as saying at the Brooklyn forum. "There is no level of diesel particulate pollution that isn't harmful."

At a March town hall in Northwest Portland, State Senator Mike Dembrow, D-Portland, said "There will definitely be legislation to move this issue forward," according to Cascadia Times. "We're currently working on reconciling House and Senate approaches," Dembrow said.

Find out more:

To read the full Cascadia Times article: https://www.times.org/diesel-pollution

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