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Precision Castparts Structural Large Parts Campus

SE Portland, Oregon

 

In June 2016, a neighborhood advocacy group, the South Portland Air Quality Group (SPAQ) requested the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) conduct a public health assessment for the area surrounding Precision Castparts in southeast Portland. The public health assessment evaluates environmental data collected by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The report was released on October 29th, 2018 for public comment.

 

Findings

The assessment found levels of metals, including arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and nickel, detected near the metal components manufacturer's Southeast Harvey Drive facility were below levels that would be expected to harm public health. People can safely eat up to five meals of crayfish per month (a total of 40 ounces for adults) from Johnson Creek.

The assessment found that a quantifiable evaluation of potential health effects from previous exposures to the metals and other chemicals was not possible due to a lack of historical sampling data - prior to 2016. Other limitations are, uncertainties around how well the available monitoring data represents typical ongoing exposures, uncertainties about potential effects in sensitive populations, and an inability to differentiate between emissions from Precision Castparts and those from other sources.

To read more, see the full Public Health Assessment

Background Information

In 2013, the US Forest Service started using moss to understand air quality across Portland. In February 2016, the moss data showed significant heavy metal hot spot areas across the city, including areas near various glass manufacturing facilities and the Precision Castparts Structural Large Parts Campus. Precision Castparts Corporation (PCC) is a large metal foundry operating since the 1950's. PCC borders Southeast Johnson Creek. At this location, the company makes parts for the aerospace industry, using nickel, titanium, aluminum and steel alloys. To validate the moss data and determine if heavy metals associated with emissions from PCC may be a risk to human health, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) began air monitoring and collected soil samples at properties next to PCC. Oregon Health Authority evaluated potential health risks from metals based on air monitoring and soil testing DEQ performed in 2016 and 2017.

To read more, see the full Public Health Assesment.


Community Engagement

EHAP convened a series of Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meetings, made up of residents who live and/or work within a half mile of PCC. These meetings were held to:
  1. Receive input and feedback from the local residents into the exposure assumption and scenarios that will be used in the PHA.
  2. Educate participants about the PHA process and build community capacity in environmental health.
  3. Develop relationships with local residents, to help build trust in the long-term PHA process.
  4. Identify the most relevant way of communicating to the broader community about the PHA and the conclusions and recommendations that will result from the process.
  5. Ensure that community concerns are highlighted, incorporated and addressed through the PHA process.

Resources

Press Releases

October 29th, 2018: OHA public health assessment also finds low risk from compounds in soil, water

May 5th, 2016: OHA to assess long-term risks near Precision Castparts Corp.

Health Education

Healthy Gardening Resources

10/25/2016: What do the data mean for health? (presentation)

Agency Support

  • Oregon Health Authority (EHAP)
  • Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

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