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DEQ monitors Hare Field air toxics

Higher levels of particulate pollution seen in Hillsboro than in other areas


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has installed a monitor at Hare Field stadium in Hillsboro to assess air toxics in the community. Air toxics are pollutants associated with more serious health effects such as increased risk of cancer or respiratory damage.

Hare Field is located at 1151 N.E. Grant St., several blocks north of downtown Hillsboro, near Northeast Cornell Road.

Currently, the only air quality information DEQ has for Hillsboro comes from data about the community’s many emission sources, computer modeling estimates and from a fine particulate pollution monitoring station located at Hare Field.

The monitor will not measure lead from aircraft at the Hillsboro Airport, however. Although that is a source of concern among some activists, the DEQ says the monitor is too far away from the airport to accurately lead emissions there. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently monitoring lead at 15 other small airports across the country to help determine the health risks of such emissions.

DEQ has measured higher levels of particulate pollution in Hillsboro than in other parts of the Portland area. The particulate levels indicate an increased chance that toxins may also occur at levels that could affect public health because the pollutants share common sources, such as wood burning and vehicles. Additional specialized monitoring is necessary to determine air toxics levels.

DEQ is taking samples at the new Hare Field monitor every sixth day for toxic particulates, volatile organic compounds and metals. By comparing monitored air toxics concentrations to ambient benchmark concentrations, or clean air goals, DEQ will be able to gauge air toxics problems in the area. DEQ will also compare monitored air toxics levels to modeled or estimated levels to evaluate the accuracy of the model. The 2017 projections from the Portland Air Toxics Solutions model show elevated levels of air toxics caused by high emissions and poor ventilation.

Hillsboro monitoring information will support ongoing efforts to reduce air toxics in the Portland area as part of the Portland Air Toxics Solutions Project.

For a fact sheet about this monitoring project, go to: deq.statr.us/aq/toxics/pats.htm.




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