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Neighbors protest Daimler at new Portland headquarters

TRIBUNE PHOTO - North Portland residents want the state to look at emissions from Daimler's Swan Island production facility. Residents protested April 19 outside the company's headquarters building.Neighbors of the Daimler Trucks manufacturing plant on Swan Island say the company needs to do more to control its paint odors.

They protested the opening of Daimler's new corporate headquarters in Portland on Tuesday, April 19.

Daimler says it has taken steps to reduce air pollution from its Swan Island plant.But neighbors say they're still suffering from fumes coming from the company's truck painting operations.

Dennis Poklikuha has lived nearby for 23 years. He says the company has refused to install additional pollution controls to reduce the paint odors, and he's worried there may be harmful chemicals in the air he's breathing.

He and many of his neighbors held signs outside Daimler's new headquarters while the company held a press event to recognize the new building. "It's a very, very strong paint smell. You can taste it on certain days," Poklikuha said. "If they can build a building like this, they can put a filter on a smoke stack."

Daimler says it's in compliance with air pollution rules. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality completed a nuisance odor investigation last year and confirmed paint smells coming from the Swan Island facility. The agency said the odors aren’t bad enough to issue a nuisance violation, but it recently agreed to re-evaluate that conclusion in response to criticism and a request from Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek.

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