NRC is meeting with the city Thursday, Nov. 16, 2107, 8:30 a.m. at 1900 SW 4th Ave., Room 4A to discuss the application of a conditional use permit. NRC is located at 8828 NE Killingsworth Street at NE 89th Ave and NE Emerson St.
The permit, if granted, will allow them to expand and legitimize their current waste dumping activities. The proposal, in part, states:
The activities on site are: treatment and discharge of non-regulated waste water and storage of empty roll-off bins and temporary storage tanks.
“Non-regulated wastewater” as written on their proposal includes septage, portable toilets, uncontaminated groundwater and other wastewaters.
The city (Mike Liefeld, 11/21/11) promised Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN) that it would not allow septic dumping on that property. Waste related businesses are not allowed this close to residential zoning according to code. We had presented evidence to the city that the dumping severely affected SAN member’s health and livability. So the city made this one condition, yet still allowed WTS (the previous name of the company) to dump wastewater using the term leachate (a liquid that has dissolved or entrained environmentally harmful substances that may then enter the environment.)
- May 2010: Water Truck Service (WTS), a Sherwood company owned by Mr. Bob Jonas, moves in at 8828 NE Killingsworth
- May 2010: City Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) issues a discharge permit.
- November 2010-February 2011: BES finds several discharge violations by WTS and fines them.
- June 2011: Pumper trucks and loads of Honey Buckets are brought into the residential neighborhood and septic waste is sloppily dumped in
open air. Residents file a land use inquiry with city Bureau of Development Services (BDS).
- July 2011: BDS inspector determines that WTS does not have the required conditional use permit for a ‘waste-related’ use under code 33.254. BDS issues a violation letter to WTS.
- September 2011: KGW reports: “NE Portland raises a stink over septic company”
- September 2011: BDS and BES send reps to a SAN meeting to discuss WTS. BDS says they will work with WTS to mitigate odor whether WTS files for a conditional use permit or not.
- Late September 2011: WTS files for a pre-application conference with BDS, but never files the CU permit application.
- Nov. 2, 2011: Scott Somohano, then Chair of Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN) and resident Patricia Irvin present concerns to the Portland City Council. They were told that BDS was currently handling the situation so the mayor or council members could not comment.
- Nov. 21, 2011: Michael Liefeld, BDS sends letter to WTS attorney. He allows the disposal of storm water runoff without a CU permit. No storage. No treatment. No septic. No odor impact to the neighborhood. “The trigger for requiring a Conditional Use Review all depends on whether or not the material is receiving treatment at the plant. If the treated stormwater is simply transported to this site and meets acceptable levels for disposal into the sanitary sewer system without further treatment, then no Conditional Use Review would be required and this would not considered a Waste Related Use.”
- March 2012 – present: Severe odors are continually experienced and reported to the city by numerous residents. Sample responses: “At this time we have not determined that the activity being conducted at the site is anything but introduction of treated liquids to the City’s Sanitary/storm system approved under a BES discharge permit” (Mike Liefeld, BDS, 12/2/13) “I cannot just take your word on [it] when theodor is occurring” (Michelle Seward, BDS, 1/27/14)
- May 9, 2017 – BES issues a Wastewater Discharge Permit, for centralized waste treatment at 8828 NE Killingsworth St. Permit #437.010 permits treatment and discharge of wastewater, oils and organics.
- May 30, 2017 – Trucks dumping septic at pre-dawn hours, trucker approaches resident filming from the street and threatens. (This is the same truck driver that threatened residents in 2011) He said they had a permit and the city would not do anything to help us.
- June 5 2017 – Sumner resident and former SAN board member Patricia Irvin meets with Dan Parnell, BES at the site. He verifies the odor and witnesses pumper trucks dumping into several large holding tanks in the open air on the property. We learn that NRC bought WTS. BES only regulates the material that is disposed, not the method or impact. He confirms that WTS had numerous violations over the years.
Sumner residents and business owners are encouraged to attend the conditional use proposal meeting on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 8:30 a.m. We will only be able to speak if time allows, but this is a public hearing and it is important that we are visible as our neighborhood’s future is discussed.
Marguerite Feuersanger, City Planner tells why neighbors must promptly act on zoning notifications if they are to obtain “legal standing” on impending changes.
Marguerite Feuersanger, from the City’s Bureau of Development Services, urged class attendees to make comments in a timely way. “Being timely helps give you ‘standing’; and ‘standing’ is required to challenge or appeal a decision.” We learned that “standing” is the ability of a land-use representative to demonstrate to a court or bureau that the neighborhood has sufficient connection to, and can be harmed by, a change in code.