Peer Review Panel Finds Environmental Assessment Appropriately Addresses Issues of Air Quality, Greenhouse Gas, and Noise and Provides Additional Recommendations for Design and Construction Phases
June 2, 2020
For more information, contact Don Hamilton, 503-704-7452 Don.Hamilton@odot.state.or.us
PORTLAND — A peer review of the Environmental Assessment of the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement project is now public. In January 2020, the Oregon Transportation Commission directed ODOT to conduct an environmental peer review associated with the project’s Environmental Assessment after hearing stakeholder concern over the potential impacts from the project related to air quality, noise and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Peer Review Report supported ODOT’s findings for air, greenhouse gas, and noise impacts for the project. It also provided recommendations to incorporate into the project’s future design and construction phases, such as the requirement of low-emission construction equipment including electric vehicles.
The Environmental Peer Review Panel also reached out to Partner Agencies involved with the Rose Quarter Project.
“It appears that some trust has been lost between the public and ODOT, and perhaps between the other Partner Agencies and ODOT,” the report said. “The Panel found ODOT to be very cooperative, intelligent, and prompt with their responses. ODOT expressed interest in the Panel’s suggestions on improving relations with the community and Partner Agencies.”
The report also suggested that this is an opportunity for ODOT, partner agencies, and local community partners to repair relations and produce a project in which everyone can take pride. One panel member called it a “WE” opportunity.
“While we are confident of the technical work that went into the Environmental Assessment, we were open to it being reviewed by subject matter experts and look forward to addressing their recommendations as we move forward,” said Project Director Megan Channell.
There is room for improvement. The reviewers pointed out that the way the information was written in the Environmental Assessment could have been better presented for a non-technical audience.
The review process occurred between April and May 2020. Staff from the City of Portland, Metro and Portland Public Schools participated in the process and were able to ask the panelist questions.
To read the Report which includes panelist bios, please visit: https://www.i5rosequarter.org/news-library/