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ELEVATED METHANE GAS LEVELS AT FORMER BIG-BOX DEVELOPMENT SITE PROMPT NEIGHBORHOOD ACTION

"Siskiyou Square" becomes the focus of safety and new discussions of neighborhood livability. Town Hall meeting to address the issue will be held August 19th.
August 10th, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Azmat Hussain, President
Save NE 82nd Avenue Coalition
Phone: (503) 512-9628
email:  info@savemadisonsouth.org


ELEVATED METHANE GAS LEVELS AT FORMER BIG-BOX DEVELOPMENT SITE PROMPT MADISON SOUTH NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS TO TAKE ACTION
"Siskiyou Square" becomes the focus of safety and new discussions of neighborhood livability.


PORTLAND, OR (August 10th, 2009)--The Save NE 82nd Avenue Coalition (formerly Save Madison South), a non-profit organization committed to improving the livability along NE 82nd Avenue, is sponsoring a Town Hall meeting on August 19th to discuss elevated methane levels at "Siskiyou Square", the former H.G. Lavelle Landfill at NE 82nd Avenue and NE Siskiyou Street.

Many will recall Siskiyou Square being the subject of a heated debate two years ago surrounding a "big box" retail development across the street from Madison High school. Save NE 82nd was one of the primary opponents of that plan, and after successfully opposing the 180,000-sqft big-box complex, the neighborhood livability group has continued to reach out to find solutions for Siskiyou Square that would contribute positively to the neighborhood. To that end, Save NE 82nd also participated in the "Imagine 82nd" study performed last year by Master's students at Portland State University's School of Urban Studies and Planning (MURP) that looked at redevelopment of Siskiyou Square into a vibrant economic and cultural center the community could be proud of. With Siskiyou Square being the largest, undeveloped piece of land (26 acres) within the City's boundaries, the seminal Imagine 82nd work has propelled Siskiyou Square to the forefront of the minds of many developers..

The current state of the former landfill is a result of continued neglect of the methane gas management and monitoring system. The owner of the property, Mike Hashem, has been repeatedly asked by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to maintain the system in working condition, to which he has been largely unresponsive. In February, DEQ issued a unilateral order to Mr. Hashem, requiring landfill gas monitoring and an evaluation of the gas management system be conducted and overhauled, as needed. Under this direction, Mr. Hashem complied and paid for an assessment of the gas management and monitoring system. The report from this study, released a few months ago, concluded that elevated levels of methane gas are present along portions of the landfill boundary. Methane gas is a primary component of natural gas, which is used to fuel homes. Methane is flammable and may pose an explosion hazard when it migrates into enclosed spaces such as in-ground utility service boxes, utility conduits, and unvented crawl spaces beneath buildings. DEQ cited as a possible risk the Madison Place Subdivision, on NE Knott and Russell Streets between NE 84th and 86th Avenues.

Citing health concerns over Mike Hashem's land, the Save NE 82nd Coalition, in cooperation with the Madison South Neighborhood Association, is sponsoring a town hall meeting to educate the neighborhood regarding the public health and safety issues. The meeting will also focus on a discussion of the future of Siskiyou Square. A presentation of the findings of the Imagine 82nd study will be available, as well as other upcoming projects in the neighborhood.

Invited speakers include Tim Spencer and Bob Schwartz from the Oregon DEQ.
The Save NE 82nd Town Hall meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, August 19th from 6-8pm at the Banfield Pet Hospital Corporate Headquarters at 8000 NE Tillamook Street. Anticipated attendance is expected to fill the room's capacity, so please arrive on-time or earlier.

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If you'd like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with someone from the Save NE 82nd Avenue Coalition or the Madison South Neighborhood Association, please contact Azmat Hussain at (503) 512-9628 or email at  info@savemadisonsouth.org.

LINKS:
 http://www.savemadisonsouth.org
 link to www.deq.state.or.us

homepage: homepage: http://www.savemadisonsouth.org
phone: phone: 503-512-9628
address: address: PO Box 30266, Portland, OR 97294