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Go Jeff ! If all the folks who love to recreate on Sauvies would chip in to
the legal defense fund , I imagine it would help Jeff out. And all you local
Architects could help a good cause too!


I don't think most architects are paid like City employees. Cry me a river...drive an economy car like the rest of us.
Glassy slag (I like that too) and furnace brick seem pretty benign to me. They sound like good materials for designers actually. I would love to see some pictures of those materials.


What?! Glassy slag! I am never taking my clothes off at the Sauvie island beaches again! (You have been warned)


Just because the site COULD begin leaching groundwater doesn't mean that this landfill is horrible. The slag and furnace brick will go somewhere, if they don't go here. This location is monitored by DEQ, and has been approved for expansion. Should we really defile another location with a new landfill? Twice the quantity of landfills means twice the potential for environmental damage. As much as I hate to see landfills on agricultural land, it isn't like someone can plant anything there in the near future. If it were closed, it would be an abandoned landfill, not a farm.


I don't buy manifest destiny logic in general...but by "expansion" do they mean 'up' or 'out'?

Also, what is the extent of DEQ monitoring?

Jeff Joslin

Thanks for the post, Brian.

I hope this doesn't really turn into a discussion about what kind of car I drove for a couple of years. But for the record: I bought it used, it got 26 miles per gallon, because of the quality of construction it's lifecycle cost and carbon footprint is tiny compared to your average small car, my salary is commensurate with managing architects with comparable experience in the profession, and I would not have been able to afford it with my City compensation alone, and I hadn't bought a car in ten years.

Now, can we talk about the actual issue? Here are my responses to issues raised, and those most relevant to this forum.

1) This use is completely out of scale and out of character with anything else in the area.
While parked up against the Island dike, it's been limited to a height level with the dike. They are requesting to created a mountain of industrial waste 14' higher than the dike, 28 acres in area. This volume is greater than the volume of Big Pink.

2) The material is characterized as inert, but that doesn't mean it's acceptable.
It's consistently leached materials into the acquifer, residential wells in an area with a 50'-75' deep water table, and Multnomah Channel that are not otherwise naturally occurring. These include: Uranium, Thorium, and an array of heavy metals. Such inappropriate tangencies and impacts are the reason we typically segregate uses. The site is designed to sheet to a trench, which is connected by a culvert to dump onto adjacent wetlands on my property on the National Wetlands Inventory. This use does not belong next to Exclusive Farm Use zoned land, residences, and the Channel.

3) There are alternatives besides alternative dump sites.
This is not an attempt to shift the burden elsewhere (and thank you for asking that question), but an effort to get them to seek other benign, environmentally responsible, and sustainable alternatives. ESCOs newsletters identify and herald their own facilities elsewhere on the continent equivalent in scale and process that have found ways to recycle and re-employ these materials rather than landfilling them. Yet here in their corporate hometown, they place them on this sensitive site. They have over two decades of capacity left on this site, yet they're not pursuing these proven alternatives to disposal in this sensitive location, and are instead seeking to expand this facility.

4) The review process to date has been biased to a degree I've never witnessed (and I've seen a lot!).
In response to the application, large amounts of information were submitted to the County included expert testimony that questioned ESCOs burden of proof in specific and legitimate ways. Two dozen residents testified, as well as a half dozen respected environmental groups/organizations. The staff decision dismissed this testimony with a vague front-end paragraph, and addressed none of it elsewhere in the report. They also allowed ESCO to rebut this testimony after the record closed, and did not allow us to respond to ESCOs new information. The report includes all of ESCOs exhibits, but does not even note or list, let alone reference, the many who contributed substantial effort and information.

Well, that's enough from me. If you'd like further information, feel free to contact me at [email protected]

The hearing's to be in the County Commission Board room at the Hawthorne building, May 12th at 6:30 p.m.

Jeff Joslin
Sauvie Island Friends for Environmental Responsibilty.

Lily Joslin

Since I usually refer to this Jeff Joslin fellow as "Dad," I know it may seem that I'm hitting extremely close to - in fact, at - home. But as a lifelong resident of Sauvie Island I really appreciate the dialogue spurred by "Jeff," and subsequently abetted by other island residents and supporters, around this issue. Portland is a really unique place in having regulatory processes that allow, well, pretty much anyone who's willing to invest the effort, to argue against something that's potentially detrimental and make their point on the record. Some may think this system can get tedious, but as a person who may someday inherit the land adjacent to this infill site I have to say that a few decades from now I think it would be REAL nice not to have to simply live with the repercussions of a Big Pink-sized pile of industrial refuse (although I also really like the term glassy slag) rising up over the dike.

As a side note to anyone who read the Sentinel article, I'd like to say that I do not view the decision to sell the P car as a great loss. It was all a matter of putting priorities in order, and this was clearly a more important allocation of that investment given the situation. (Plus, I don't drive - just call me Tri-Met line 17's biggest fan.)

Lily Joslin


Unbelievably idiotic. Nothing more is necessary to describe Multnomah County's decision to allow expansion of a dump on Sauvie Island that leeches toxic materials into wetlands. That this use has been grandfathered in does not make the use acceptable. Besides the pollutant issue, 28 acre, a 14 foot high hill of so-called inert, but never the less toxic waste represents a significant change to the islands geography.

Instead of dumping this stuff there, maybe it would be more appropriate for use in filling the gaping hole Pamplin has been carving out of Ross Island for decades. Or maybe it could be used to make roads with.

I read the paper mostly everyday, but if not for this site, I wouldn't have heard about this issue,

Moo Moo

Esco is a terrible company as it is. The employees are treated unfairly and despite Esco's many customers, I don't believe in companies like such. They cover up all of their mistakes. It is more than just this issue. This is in regards the the massive research I have accumulated talking to employees and seeing the disrespect individuals have had to suck up and move on. Screw their landfill discrepancies. Talk about their morality.

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