Portland officials seek stricter dust regulations

An ordinance was drafted requiring all siding, windows and doors to be removed from old homes prior to demolition.

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September 21, 2017
CDR Staff
Demolition Legislation & Regulations
Portland commissioners have introduced a proposal to increase demolition regulations regarding lead dust, a report by the Portland Tribune says. Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who oversees the Bureau of Development Services (BDS), is expected to present a draft of the legislation at the monthly Development Advisory Review Committee meeting made up of construction industry members.

The ordinance will require all siding, windows and doors to be removed prior to demolition of older homes to mitigate dust from lead found in the paint, the report says. The ordinance will enforce stricter rules than the current demolition permit application package introduced in April 2015.

A form from the current package, called the certification regarding asbestos and lead-based paint, must be signed be the developer or his or her representative. The form requires the developer to check a box “yes” or “no” for the presence of asbestos or another lead-based based. If the box is marked “yes,” the developer is required to remediate the hazards before demolition.

The Portland Tribune says it reviewed more than 100 demolition permit applications and found discrepancies, either in the form of incomplete or incorrectly filled applications, in two dozen of them.

Spokesperson for BDS David Austin says in the report that discrepancies occur because state officials can regulate state lead paint removal but cities have no enforcement power. A law, Senate Bill 871, will take effect in January and allows local jurisdictions to regulate lead dust in demolition. Austin says in the report the bureau will work with the city council then to enact stricter regulation.