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Law Environmental Justice Advocates


2013-2014 PROJECTS

1. October 24, 2013 EJA General Meeting

2010-2011 PROJECTS

1. Hayden Island Livability Project (HILP): 

- Largest manufactured home community in Oregon (approx. 460 families)

- Mostly low-income seniors/disabled on fixed incomes, limited mobility

Three ongoing projects on HILP’s behalf:

a. Columbia River Crossing

  • CRC (ODOT, WSDOT and FHWA) planning $3+ billion project to replace existing I-5 bridge and expand capacity from current 6 lanes to 10-12 lanes
  • Draft EIS failed to consider substantial health impacts upon community, which is next to staging area for massive bridge construction (i.e., air pollution, dust, noise, vibration, street repair, highway exit closures and limited medical access, complete taking of the local Safeway, the community’s only source of fresh food and pharmacy)
  • Prior advocacy has resulted in Hayden Island bridge interchange re-design, providing for additional local access bridge to connect island to city-proper; still a lot of work to do to ensure that these gains are received
  • Final EIS due out soon, must review and analyze to determine viability of challenge and/or request for Supplemental EIS (no analysis of impacts on East Portland due to diverted traffic to I-205 corridor)
  • Significant outreach and education support needed for community

*Contact Liv Brumfield with questions or to get involved


b. West Hayden Island DEQ/Port litigation

  • Port of Portland has already and wants to continue to dispose of contaminated dredge spoils from Portland Harbor (Superfund) at facility on West Hayden Island, within 1-2 miles of manufactured home community residents
  • New DEQ rulemaking allows for solid waste to be de-regulated if justified as a “beneficial use”
  • Port claims that dredge spoils have beneficial use as foundation for future industrial marine terminal on West Hayden Island
  • No public outreach or EJ analysis done as part of beneficial use determination (BUD), and determination is speculative because local land use compatibility study is still ongoing
  • HILP and Audubon filed lawsuit challenging BUD; immediate litigation support needed

*Contact Erin Fauerbach with questions or to get involved

2. VOZ

  • EJA can provide support related to intake and claim development of wage claims for day laborers.  
  • Spanish language skills and basic familiarity and understanding of wage and hour laws

*Contact Zachary Pedrazzi with questions or to get involved

3. Air Toxics and Pesticides:

  • Supporting OPAL and other community-based stakeholders in the Portland Air Toxics Solutions Advisory Committee (TSCA) process. The goal of TSCA is to make recommendations to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on how to reduce air toxics and achieve compliance by 2017.
  • Determining where hot spots are, how they will be affected by various strategies, and using the recent EAB case to push DEQ to reconsider their permitting (to incorporate a cumulative impact standard into air quality permits).
  • Supporting OPAL to develop statewide (then regional) network for chemical and pesticide reform, including plugging into national constituency working on TSCA reform. This includes research, developing relationships with interested stakeholders, convening coalition meetings to identify and prioritize advocacy platform, negotiate strategy for political lobbying and interest.

*Contact Anna-Marie Gulotta with questions or to get involved

4. Transit Justice:

-The purpose of OPAL’s Transit Justice and Health Equity program is to empower low-income transit riders who depend on the bus service for everyday needs to have a stronger voice in transit decision-making, and to preserve and increase accessibility and service

-OPAL has organized approx. 50 members and 10 leaders for its Bus Riders Unite! campaign work, and held a Rally for the Bus on September 1, 2010, with 150 people outside City Hall to protest the fare increase and service cuts

Three main campaign components for 2011:

a. Campaign for a Fair Transfer

  • Current transfer policy is inequitable b/w bus and MAX and insufficient in light of massive service cuts to operation
  • Demand is to equalize and extend transfer time policy to three hours on both MAX and bus during the day, unlimited after 7pm (as night service has been decimated)
  • Immediate work includes research on hardship on low-income riders, drafting proposed ordinance to change transfer policy, outreach and education

b. East Portland Bus Stop Campaign

  • Infrastructure and amenities at East Portland bus stops are inadequate and inequitable
  • OPAL has surface-level assessment data for 104+ bus stops in East Portland along major bus routes; need finer analysis of data and develop scoring criteria
  • Collaboration with PSU MURP students

c. Influencing TriMet’s Transit Investment Plan (TIP) 

  • TIP is an annual five-year planning document that details TriMet’s evolving approach to transit planning and investment
  • Currently there is no formal engagement strategy, only ad hoc outreach, primarily based around elimination of bus routes
  • OPAL is engaging paid TIP Consultants from within low-income transit-dependent communities to become educated around and engaged in TIP process
  • Assistance needed researching policies and developing curriculum for consultants

*Contact Betsy Mas with questions or to get involved

5. Inclusionary Zoning: 

  • A group of law students, along with Jon Ostar from OPAL have been reaching out to and working with a number of community organizations, organizers, electeds and Oregon city governments and city planners to lift Oregon’s 12 year ban on this important affordable housing tool. 
  • Lifting the ban is an important step towards giving local governments the correct mix of tools to increas affordable housing stock, and to diversify their communities economically, racially and ethnically. 
  • This group is passionate about the issue and is excited to be reframing the issue not just in terms of affordable housing but also in terms improving human health and involving nontraditional allies — primarily organizations that work with and serve communities of color— in the conversation. 

*Contact Zachary Pedrazzi with questions or to get involved

6. Mountaintop Removal Mining: 

  • Two students who miss the Appalachian mountains of home are putting together an email listserv to help us all stay up-to-date on the latest news relating to the ever-growing fight against Mountain Top Removal (MTR) mining. 
  • The listserv will be used to send out news updates and also, as the project grows, send out calls for help with research and commenting projects related to MTR. 

Click here for some MTR information and resources. 

*Contact Torie Jarvis with questions or to get involved!  

2007-2008 Projects

Brownfields and Urban Revitalization - Research for Groundwork Portland and OPAL

Native American subsistence rights - North Slope Borough Case with the Crag Law Center

Air Quality issues - Boeing emissions permit and public hearing

Please contact for more information about these projects.

Brownfields Research

Lewis & Clark law students, who are members of Environmental Justice Advocates (EJA) and Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC), assisted Groundwork Portland and Organizing People, Activating Leaders (OPAL) with this project. The mission of Groundwork Portland (GW PDX) is to provide a community-first model around brownfield redevelopment and green space connectivity, with a focus on public health and environmental justice issues in Portland Metro. 

North Slope Borough Case

Lewis & Clark law students, who are members of Environmental Justice Advocates (EJA) and Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC), assisted the Crag Law Center with this project. Crag was approached by the North Slope Borough and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, who asked Crag to defend the rights and lifestyle of the Inupiat people.

The Inupiat communities of North Slope Boroughs are now threatened by the Beaufort Sea Outer Continental Shelf Lease Exploration plan set to take place 2007-2009. The plan, put in place by Shell Offshore Inc., is a blueprint for the exploration of the North Slope in hopes of finding oil. Oil exploration and drilling in the North Slope would have detrimental effects on the Inupiat community and marine mammals.

NSB Environmental Justice Project

Boeing emissions permit

Boeing ramped up airplane painting at one of their facilities near the Portland Airport and Boeing applied for a permit to emit more VOCs. NEDC and EJA students were concerned that the Oregon DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) would not force Boeing to use the best available control technology, causing more air quality problems for local community members. Law students attended a public meeting in mid-September 2007, participated in subsequent public comments and hearings. 

Brownfields Environmental Justice Project