Tuesday, March 2, 2010


A gasoline odor event was reported last Sunday, neighbors yet again experiencing an acute presence of gasoline/gas odors.  Unlike the better documented gasoline odor from last spring (23 May - 6 June 2009), this one is more similar to others that have not persisted as long. (There was also a presence of strong gas odors reported early on Sunday, 7 February 2010 close in NW; and another on 24 February 2010 at 6:00pm by a group meeting near the St. John's Bridge). My understanding of our most recent experience on Sunday 28 February 2010 is:

7:30 - 8:00 SUNDAY while out hiking on the forest park trails above the neighborhood, a resident was so bothered by the presence of gasoline odor that she told her hiking partner: " The air is getting to me, I am going to stop."  This person went back to her NW home and filed an online complaint through portlandair.org

8:00am SUNDAY-- staff that opened Food Front called NWNG because of the strong presence of gas odor at the store.  It was reported that NWNG did not find any source related to a natural gas customer.

9:00am SUNDAY-- Cyclist @ NW Everett and 19th reports through Twitter to @pdxair that there is a strong gasoline smell at that corner.

9:00am SUNDAY--  Neighbor at St. Honore Bakery on NW Thurman smells acute gasoline odor--this person made a phone call to DEQ 800 emergency number who directed her to 911 who directed it back to NWNG.  (This same person has received multiple phone calls back from DEQ, and has been in ongoing dialogue with agency staff).

10:30am SUNDAY--  Cyclist on St Helen's Road reports strong smell of gasoline/gas in front of CMS, LLC.

2:00pm MONDAY -- DEQ staff and Sharon Genasci (NWDA H&E Chair) knock on residents' doors who registered online complaints to inquire about association with ESCO.

This is not to say these are the only complaints, but it gives us a pretty good understanding of the timeline, the placement, the agency response.

In the wake of this, and the history of events like this, the neighborhood should demand the following:

1.  Full report of all complaints the agency received, and the subsequent response--this would include, but not limited to:  phone, online, indirect reports from other agency.
2.  Report of NWNG complaints and response
3.  Assessment of prevailing wind patterns during the period of time that the event was recorded.
4.  Report of all potential possible sources for this kind of acute gasoline odor.

In addition a huge source of frustration is not knowing who to call or what a person should do when this occurs The neighborhood needs critical direction from DEQ, as to which of the following avenues does the agency deem MOST effective in eliciting an immediate response when there is an acute odor event such as this: 

1.  Oregon Emergency Response System – 1-800-452-0311
3.  911

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