Oily smell in Northeast Portland has residents on edge

Oily smell in Northeast Portland has residents on edge

PORTLAND, Ore. – Something stinks in North Portland.

It’s a pungent oily smell that’s becoming too much for some residents living northeast of University of Portland’s campus, one resident said. The smell has forced some folks to hide in their homes in hopes of escaping it.

“We started getting woken up in the middle of the night,” said resident Claudia Dedo. “We’d be sleeping with our windows open and we’d both wake up, you know, bolt upright because the smell was so strong.”

Dedo, who lives on Wabash Avenue, has lived in the neighborhood since 2006 and said while the odor has been around for a while, it’s become increasingly aromatic.

“Neighbors in this area have been complaining about oil and gas smells for years, but with the north industrial area out here, it could be coming from any one of a number of businesses,” she said.

Dedo has notified the Department of Environmental Quality, but said she’s frustrated with the agency’s response. Agency officials have told her that residents should be able to identify the pollutant themselves, whatever it might be.

A DEQ spokesman, Dave Monroe, said the agency is trying to pinpoint the cause of the odor.

“We are interested in finding out who that is and try to engage people in a dialogue to try and explore different cooperative methods that the industries can undertake perhaps with the neighbors to help mitigate the impacts that they have,” Monroe said.

Monroe encourages residents to continue filing reports with as much information as possible.

The best thing residents can do is file a report with the DEQ because even if a business is in compliance with air quality restrictions, the DEQ could still work with the business to mitigate the problem.