Clearing the air in Portland schools


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Air date: 
Wed, 08/19/2009 - 5:00pm

Portland may be a green city, but some of its school children are breathing air more like the polluted skies of Cleveland. A  USA Today study found six of our city's schools in northwest and north/northeast Portland among the worst in the nation for exposing children to airborn toxins. Benzine, a carcinogen found in gasoline, exceeds DEQ safety standards by 26 percent. Frustrated with lack of action by state regulators, parents of children in some of the mot impacted schools are organizing the community. Neighbor for Clean Air wants industrial users in the area like ESCO to install better air filtration systems and DEQ to provide more extensive monitoring (DEQ is currently monitoring only one school - Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy for the next 60 days).

Jo Ann and Dave talk with Mary Peveto of Neighbors for Clean Air about their petition drive and other efforts to clear the air in Portland's schools. Also joining the conversation is Geri Williams, founder of the Environmental Justice Action group and longtime community activist working on air quality issues in North and Northeast Portland.

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