Empowering Portland-area Residents’ Fight for Clean Air

Did you know that in Oregon, construction equipment (also known as “off road equipment”) is responsible for 65 percent of our diesel pollution, and these vehicles are not required to meet diesel exhaust standards? Due to a high amount of construction projects in the area, and a lack of regulation on diesel vehicles statewide, Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties, rank in the top 5 percent of all counties nationwide for ambient diesel particulate concentrations. This type of pollution has a disproportionate impact on low-income communities of color.

Neighbors for Clean Air (NCA)–a regional environmental advocacy group–has been working hard to clear the air in Portland since 2008. After impressive successes reducing pollution in Northwest Portland neighborhoods, NCA is fixing its sights on the fight to regulate diesel vehicle emissions in Oregon.

MAC has partnered with NCA and Portland State University (PSU) researchers to create a public web application for people to visualize the air-quality impacts of construction sites in their neighborhood. The app examines the harmful effects facing the public from the heavy diesel-powered machinery that operates on those construction sites.

Using an intuitive map interface, this application will allow users to search their local neighborhood for ongoing or future construction project permits, displaying the relative potential diesel pollution emanating from construction sites; an algorithm combines square-footage, age of equipment, and proposed number of floors, with data gathered by air-quality researchers at PSU to provide a diesel and black-carbon risk measurement for each construction site. Behind the scenes, various technologies and tools used on this project include:

The project is intended to get the public engaged in the conversation around diesel vehicle regulation in Oregon, to meet achievable goals in reducing diesel – regulations, community engagements, and specific policy changes. For more information about how you can get involved, visit the Take Action page.

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