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City of Portland Publishes U.S. EPA’s Website on Climate Change

Portland joins Chicago and 12 other U.S. cities to make the EPA's climate data available to the public

News from the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Monday, June 12, 2017

Eden Dabbs

JoEllen Skonberg

City of Portland Publishes U.S. EPA’s Website on Climate Change

Portland joins Chicago and 12 other U.S. cities to make the EPA's climate data available to the public

Portland, ORE. — In response to President Donald Trump ordering the removal of climate change data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website, the City of Portland joins 12 other cities in re-publishing the deleted information.
“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and the most pressing global issue we face,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. “Any vision for the future of our city needs to acknowledge climate change. It isn’t just our planet that’s at stake, it’s our very existence.”

Portland leads on local climate action

In 1993, Portland became the first city in the United States to adopt a local plan to reduce carbon pollution. Since then, local carbon emissions have declined by more than 20 percent, even while growing our population by 33 percent and adding 24 percent more jobs.
“For more than two decades, Portland has prioritized local action on climate change. And we’ve had great success in reducing local carbon emissions,” said Susan Anderson, Director, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. “Clearly cities have been leaders in addressing climate change, and cities will continue to lead.”

Read OPB’s Amelia Templeton’s coverage: Portland Joins Effort To Publish Removed EPA Climate Change Website.

Partnerships among cities are key to success

Collaboration among the world’s greatest cities has become more important than ever to advancing conversations on climate change. Through partnerships like the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, cities are sharing best practices, challenges and successes.
View the EPA’s climate change data on our website at

City of Chicago’s Press Release:
June 11, 2017

Mayor’s Press Office


Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that 12 other cities have joined the City of Chicago in posting research from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Change Website after the Trump administration unceremoniously removed it from the federal government’s websites on April 29.

“It is inspiring to see so many mayors from across the country stand up for the environment through the preservation of this data,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Making climate change research widely available underscores that facts cannot be disputed and science cannot be erased. I will continue to work with these Mayors and all those involved in the Climate Alliance to take action at the local level, including honoring the Paris Agreement.”

After the creation of the City of Chicago “Climate Change is Real” website on May 7, Mayor Emanuel called on other Mayors to post the climate change information, ensuring the public has ready access to information the EPA developed over decades of research. The Mayors and cities posting information include:

Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta, Georgia
Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston, Massachusetts
Mayor Steve Hagerty of Evanston, Illinois
Mayor Lioneld Jordan of Fayetteville, Arkansas
Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, Texas
Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, Louisiana
Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon
Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco, California
Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle, Washington
Mayor Lyda Krewson of St. Louis, Missouri

The Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology has uploaded this information to an open-sourced website so that other cities, academic institutions, and organizations can post it to their own websites at It includes information on the basic science behind climate change, the different ways in which weather is impacted from increased greenhouse gas emissions, and actions the federal government has taken to reduce the impact. These 12 cities will continue to build out and make updates to their climate change pages in the coming days and weeks.

“Cities have been stepping up to safeguard the public in creative and important ways as DC shirks its leadership on climate change,” said Rhea Suh, President, Natural Resources Defense Council. “Chicago’s effort to preserve and post important climate data is a huge victory for transparency, science and community health—front lines in the battle for climate action these days. And Mayors from across the country—Republicans and Democrats, from big cities and small towns—are stepping into the breach to ensure we reduce carbon pollution and protect our neighbors from the dangerous impacts of climate change.”

On June 7, Mayor Emanuel signed an Executive Order formalizing Chicago’s commitment to adopt the guidelines of the Paris Agreement after President Trump withdrew the United States, reneging on a consensus with 196 countries on environment protections. The Executive Order doubles down on the Paris Agreement’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
This builds on recent progress of Chicago’s reduction in carbon emissions by seven percent from 2010 to 2015, despite an increase in population. This benchmark is equivalent to shutting down a coal power plant for eight months.

Last week, Mayor Emanuel joined over 200 mayors from around the country to commit to the Paris Agreement as part of the Mayors National Climate Agenda, or Climate Mayors. This network of U.S. mayors — representing over 56 million Americans in red states and blue states — work together to strengthen local efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting efforts for binding federal and global-level policy making. Mayor Emanuel also joined over 1,000 state, local, and business leaders from across the country as part of the “We’re Still In” campaign, coming together to signal the importance of the Paris Accord both nationally and across the world.

In April, the Mayor announced that by 2025 all of Chicago’s public buildings will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. That transition means that eight percent of the city-wide electricity load or 1.8 billion kilowatt hours will come from clean and renewable sources. This follows the 2013 commitment that the City made to eliminating coal from its electricity supply.

Earlier this year, the City of Chicago was awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award. The award is given annually to honor organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency and recognized the Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge and its 76 member buildings covering 51.3 million square feet-all of which have committed to reducing their energy use by 20 percent. The award also recognized the four years of successful implementation of the City’s Energy Benchmarking Ordinance which has reduced energy use by four percent in buildings covered by the ordinance.

Below is a listing of all URLs created using the Chicago’s open source website and the EPA Climate Change information:
City of Atlanta, Georgia
City of Boston, Massachusetts
City of Evanston, Illinois
City of Fayetteville, Arkansas
City of Houston, Texas
City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
City of New Orleans, Louisiana
City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
City of Portland, Oregon
City of San Francisco, California
City of Seattle, Washington
City of St. Louis, Missouri

Mayor Emanuel’s leadership on issues of climate change and sustainability is clear and Chicago will continue to take action.


New long-range plan for the Central City on its way to City Council

After considering public testimony during multiple work sessions, the Planning and Sustainability Commission votes to recommend plan for the future of Portland's urban core

On May 23, 2017, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) met for the ninth and last Central City 2035 work session. But before taking a vote on the plan, Commissioners worked though several final amendments:   

  1. An existing North Pearl river setback provision. The river setback for a small strip of land between NE Naito and the riverfront, and the Broadway Bridge and the Fremont Bridge, will change from 25 to 50 feet. Staff also recommended removing the North Pearl setback to be consistent with the rest of the city. PSC affirmed staff’s recommendation.
  2. Additional discussion on temporary floating platforms. Staff proposed clarifying the recreational purpose of these in-river platforms. The Commission also supported an amendment to allow for more — but smaller — floating platforms so they can be grouped together in swimming areas.
  3. The relationship between burying the I-5 freeway on the eastside and the Broadway / Weidler project. The Commission briefly discussed Mayor Ted Wheeler’s interest in burying the I-5 freeway on the central eastside and how that would work with the Broadway / Weidler concepts developed through the N/NE Quadrant plan. Staff shared a 2012 concept that shows the two projects do not conflict.
  4. The Green Loop’s inclusion in the Central City. Commissioners discussed the importance of the Green Loop in the Central City and the need for this type of planning and investment in other parts of the city, especially East Portland.

Final PSC vote on the CC2035 Plan

The Commission voted 9 to 1 to support the plan and move it forward to City Council.  Commissioner Smith voted no because of the Broadway Wielder Transportation System Plan (TSP) project and made it clear that his “no” vote should not be misinterpreted as opposition to any other part of the plan.    

Next Steps

Project staff expect to release the CC2035 Recommended Draft to City Council on June 19, 2016. The public will have the summer to review the plan and prepare comments to City Council through the fall. 

Mark your calendar for the following public hearings on the CC2035 Plan. But be sure to check the project calendar for any change to dates and times:

  • September 7, 2 p.m.  
  • September 14, 2 p.m.  

PSC News: June 13, 2017 Meeting Recap

Portland Recycles Plan — briefing; Haulers' Franchise Review — hearing/recommendation; Regional Transit Strategy — briefing; TSP Stage 3 — briefing


  • Portland Recycles Plan — briefing
  • Haulers' Franchise Review — hearing/recommendation
  • Regional Transit Strategy — briefing
  • TSP Stage 3 — briefing

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at

For background information, see the PSC website at, call 503-823-7700 or email

Meeting playback on Channel 30 are scheduled to start the Friday following the meeting. Starting times may occur earlier for meetings over three hours long, and meetings may be shown at additional times as scheduling requires.

Channel 30 (closed-caption) 
Friday at 3 p.m. | Sunday at 7:00 a.m. | Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Ask the Curbside Hotline Operator: Can I recycle propane tanks in the blue recycling roll cart?

propane tankQ: Can I recycle propane tanks in the blue recycling roll cart?

A: No. Propane tanks don’t belong in curbside recycling. Ask Metro where to take them for proper disposal. These items are pressurized cylinders. They are hazardous and can cause explosions or fires in collection vehicles. There isn’t an easy way for collection drivers to tell if tanks are empty or contain propane so they need to be recycled outside of the curbside collection system, typically at a hazardous waste facility. 

Interested in disposing other items not accepted at the curb?
Contact the Metro Recycling Information online or call 503-234-3000.

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Sign up for free email reminders at

Swimming beaches on the Willamette River one lap closer to reality

City Council to consider the Eastbank Crescent Riverfront Plan and Central City Potential Swimming Beach Sites Study on June 7, 2017.

The Willamette River is both home and playground to people, fish and wildlife as well a significant feature of our city and regional center. As part of Central City 2035 planning process, City staff partnered with riverfront property owners, other agencies and stakeholders to address diverse community aspirations for activating and improving this beloved natural resource and gathering place.

On June 7, 2017, City Council will discuss and vote to accept a proposal for the Eastbank Crescent area on the Central Eastside and direct staff to seek funding to develop a detailed concept plan. They will also be accepting a swimming beach study and announcing plans for a pilot pop-up beach at Poetry at the Beach, under the Marquam Bridge on river’s west side, just in time for summer. Interested members of the public are invited to attend the Council session and offer their comments to Commissioners at that time.

Eastbank Crescent Riverfront Plan and Central City Potential Beach Sites Study
Acceptance by Portland City Council
Wednesday, June 7 at 2 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1221 SW 4th Avenue
Check the Council website for details, to confirm dates/times, submit written testimony, or  watch the meeting live.

Eastbank Crescent

The Eastbank Crescent between the Hawthorne and Marquam Bridges was chosen as a focus area because it attracts swimmers and boaters, who use the shallow water area heavily during the warmer months. The Willamette Greenway Trail runs through the site, attracting bicyclists and pedestrians. And nonmotorized boaters use the Holman Dock and traverse the busy trail with their boat shells.

It’s also a desirable location to improve fish and wildlife habitat.So in addition accommodating swimmers and boaters, planning efforts for the Eastbank Crescent present opportunities to improve habitat for multiple species of fish, including those threatened or endangered species that rely on shallow water areas during migration.

With multiple activities in the area — including potential new development on the OMSI site — conflicts between uses are a reality. So a collaborative planning process was held to understand existing conditions, opportunities and constraints, and generate concepts that show physical improvements, which address project goals to:

  • Provide safe public access to and into the Willamette River for swimming and non-motorized boating.
  • Enhance in-water nearshore habitat for Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed fish.
  • Restore riparian and upland habitat.
  • Incorporate river habitat education opportunities for OMSI.
  • Improve the safe movement of pedestrians along the Willamette Greenway Trail.
  • Integrate multiple uses while minimizing conflicts.
  • Activate and enliven the area.
  • Create a design that is physically and financially practical to build, maintain and operate.

The Eastbank Crescent Riverfront Plan (March 2017) describes two initial design concepts that incorporate project goals. The first prioritizes habitat improvements, and the other focuses on public access and use. The recommended approach is to use the habitat concept as the general base and include as many recreational and educational uses as possible, contingent on the results of more detailed site condition and feasibility studies.

Swimming Beach Sites Study

With completion of the Big Pipe (combined sewer overflow project), the river’s water quality has improved in recent years. Consequently, more people would like to have safe public swimming access into the Willamette. Since the City of Portland does not have a river swimming program, Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) launched a study to learn about:

  • Other jurisdictions’ river swimming beach programs.
  • Key site and safety issues to consider when the City implements a river swimming beach program.   
  • Best swimming beach locations in the Central City to pursue when funding becomes available.

The Central City Potential Swimming Beach Sites Study (October 2016) identifies key site and safety criteria for development of a safe and accessible family-friendly public swimming beach. Examples of site and safety criteria, respectively, include beach surface material and river characteristics such as turbidity. It then evaluates and ranks five potential locations along the central Willamette riverfront, including:

  1. Zidell property in South Waterfront
  2. “Poetry at the Beach” under the west side of the Marquam Bridge
  3. Hawthorne Bowl in Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park
  4. Eastbank Crescent south of the Hawthorne Bridge
  5. McCormick Pier north of the Steel Bridge

This information was used to inform the Eastbank Crescent Riverfront Plan and will be used to guide future plans. The study also offers insight into the level of investment and types of amenities that would be necessary to develop a successful public beach.

The Poetry at the Beach site is earmarked in the City’s 2017/18 budget for a pop-up beach and will be open for public swimming in July until September, thanks to  Mayor Ted Wheeler’s initiative.

For more information, please visit the Eastbank Crescent website or contact Debbie Bischoff at, (503) 823-6946.