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Planning and Sustainability

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Portland business and government leaders speak up about bold climate leadership

Produced by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, a new video features Portland’s climate action leaders whose vision has contributed to a notable achievement, according to BPS Director, Susan Anderson.

“Total carbon emissions in the U.S. are up 7 percent since 1990. Here, in Portland and Multnomah County, we’ve cut total emissions by 14 percent, with 30 percent more people and over 75,000 more jobs. Clearly we are headed in a different direction," said Anderson. “The investments that have helped us cut energy use and reduce carbon emissions are the same things that make people want to live here: Creating walkable neighborhoods with shopping, restaurants and parks; investing in transit and bike facilities; and making our homes and buildings more efficient and comfortable.”

The draft 2015 Climate Action Plan --now out for public comment before consideration by Portland City Council in June -- builds on Portland’s 20+ year legacy of climate action and provides a roadmap for the community to achieve an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, with an interim goal of a 40 percent reduction by 2030.

In 1993, Portland was the first U.S. city to create a local action plan for cutting carbon. The 2015 draft plan builds on the accomplishments to date with ambitious new policies, fresh research on consumption choices and engagement with community leaders serving low-income households and communities of color to advance equity through the City and County’s climate action efforts. Following community input and revisions, the draft plan will be considered for adoption by the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission, Multnomah County Board of Commissioners and the Portland City Council in June 2015.

As global leaders grapple with the concerns and opportunities the changing climate presents, Portland has become an international destination for planners and decision-makers seeking proven strategies for climate action. Since 2010, more than 160 delegations from around the world have come to Portland to speak with business and government leaders to understand how Portland has lowered emissions while welcoming growth and creating a more livable community. Portland and Multnomah County now have 12,000 clean tech jobs, an increase of 25 percent in the last 15 years.

Watch Portland’s climate action leaders talk about bold policy, benefits and the road ahead.

Download a copy or individual chapters of the draft 2015 Climate Action Plan at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/climate


Planning and Sustainability Commission Approves Terminal 6 Environmental Zoning Code and Map Amendments

Pembina’s proposal to transport propane through Portland moves on to City Council; carbon fund established to offset effects of greenhouse gas emissions

On Tuesday, April 7, after a six-hour meeting (including four hours of testimony), Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission voted 6 to 4 in favor of recommending zoning code and map amendments to City Council that would accommodate Pembina’s proposal for a propane export facility at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6.

The Zoning Code and Map amendments included:

  1. Amend the Environmental Overlay Zone to allow for the transport of propane through a pipe across an environmental overlay zone on sites zoned Heavy Industrial and only when the transporting is part of a river-dependent industrial use.
  2. Amend the zoning map to extend the existing environmental conservation overlay zone boundary to some of the currently unprotected significant natural resources identified in the adopted 2012 Citywide Natural Resources Inventory.
  3. Adopt a City-Port intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to address other issues not covered by the Zoning Code.

Intergovernmental Agreement
The IGA Framework covers a wide range of issues. It formally documents many of the commitments made by Calgary-based Pembina and the Port of Portland during the PSC hearings process. Some of the proposed terms address policy issues related to Portland’s Climate Action Plan; others address safety and community relations.

The key terms of the IGA include:

Community Advisory Committee (CAC): Provide a public forum to address operational issues that may affect the surrounding community, i.e. noise, lighting and other nuisance issues.

Safety: Ensure the Port and Pembina implement all of the safety measures, including providing the Portland Bureau of Fire and Rescue with the specialized equipment or training necessary to respond to an incident at the facility.

Onsite Energy Use: Require the facility meets 100 percent of its energy needs for onsite operations from Oregon renewable energy sources.

Grassland Habitat Mitigation: Ensure that the features and functions of the grassland special habitat area affected by the facility are fully replaced.

Environmental Impact Mitigation: Pembina to contribute $6.2 million annually to the Portland Carbon Fund to offset the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the propane itself. The fund will be used for projects that reduce energy consumption, generate renewable energy and sequester carbon.

Liability: Provide insurance and other financial assurances to cover damages from a catastrophic event.

Much of the public testimony and discussion was about safety. Prior to the hearing, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability provided extensive information to the PSC about safety, including detailed reports from technical experts. The City hired an independent consultant (Arkana) to evaluate Pembina's Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA) performed by DNV GL, a Norwegian company that specializes in safety reviews for the world gas and oil industry. The final analysis put the odds of an injury to the nearest residents at about one every 10 million years. These and other documents from the April 7 meeting are posted on the PSC website.

Portland Carbon Fund
To account for carbon emissions from the propane, the PSC recommended an annual carbon mitigation contribution of $6.2 million/year to the City. This amount is estimated based on the life cycle of GHG emissions from the exported propane, including the processing, transport and end use of the fuel. These emissions have been discounted to account for some use of the propane in plastics manufacturing and as a transition fuel that will displace dirtier sources of fuel, such as coal and fuel oil.

Pembina’s contribution will be based on the market price for GHG emissions (roughly $6.77/metric ton CO2-equivalent or roughly a penny per gallon) in Europe, which has one of the most well-established trading programs in the world. If propane exports become subject to a carbon fee or pricing mechanism, the contribution will be re-evaluated.

The Portland Carbon Fund will be a separate fund administered by the City of Portland with oversight from an advisory board, much in the same way the City’s Children’s Levy is administered. This fund is different from the Community Investment Fund announced by Pembina and will fund projects across the city that reduce energy consumption, generate renewable energy, and sequester carbon.

Next Steps
With the PSC vote, the amendments and IGA move onto to City Council for another public hearing and a vote, tentatively scheduled for April 30 (time TBD). Check the Council agenda page about a week before to confirm the date and time.

For a recap of the April 7 public hearing and vote, please visit the PSC news feed

PSC News: April 14, 2015 Meeting Recap, Documents and Video

CC2035 SE Quadrant Plan — briefing; Comprehensive Plan — work session

Agenda

  • CC2035 SE Quadrant Plan — briefing
  • Comprehensive Plan — work session

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/webdrawer.dll/webdrawer/search/rec?sm_class=uri_7223&count&rows=50.

Spring brings cleanup events to your neighborhood

Over 40 neighborhood cleanup events are scheduled around Portland in April and May 2015

Man sitting on a bike at a neighborhood cleanup

Is spring cleaning on your task list at home? There are over 40 neighborhood cleanup events scheduled around Portland in April and May 2015 to give residents a chance to remove unwanted clutter from their homes, basements and garages.

Neighborhood cleanups prioritize and promote both recycling and reuse over throwing away items in the garbage. The materials accepted at cleanup events vary, from bulky items like furniture, mattresses and appliances to items for recycling and reuse like scrap metal, building materials and household goods.

Volunteers from neighborhood associations coordinate these events and have been offering more options for reuse every year. In fact, there are about 30 events that will include onsite reuse options, allowing neighbors to take, swap or buy items immediately. 

The seven Neighborhood Coalitions are the best source of information about the scheduled cleanup events by neighborhood association.

Central Northeast Neighbors (CNN)
East Portland Neighborhood Office (EPNO)
Neighbors West/Northwest (NW/NW)
North Portland Neighborhood Services (NPNS)
Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN)
Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Coalition (SEUL)
Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. (SWNI)

Need to find contact information for your neighborhood association?
Contact the Office of Neighborhood Involvement or call 503-823-4519

Have bulky items other times of the year?
Your garbage and recycling company can remove large items that are not reusable or recyclable for an extra charge. Call your company a week in advance and they will give you a cost estimate. For a reasonable charge, they will pick up appliances, furniture, large branches, stumps, and other big items. For curbside pickup, set bulky items at your curb on the day your garbage and recycling company has agreed to pick them up.

Need help remembering garbage day?
Sign up for free email reminders at www.garbagedayreminders.com.

PSC News: April 28, 2015 Meeting Recap and Documents

Multnomah County Health Building; RICAP 7; RICAP 8 Work Plan; Economic Opportunities Analysis

Agenda

  • Multnomah County Health Building — hearing / recommendation 
  • RICAP 7 — hearing / recommendation 
  • RICAP 8 Work Plan — hearing / recommendation 
  • Economic Opportunities Analysis — hearing / recommendation

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/webdrawer.dll/webdrawer/search/rec?sm_class=uri_7223&count&rows=50.