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Commission Considers Health Effects Of Hayden Island Development

A city of Portland commission took one of the first serious looks at the potential health effects of a major development proposal Tuesday.  It took up the possible annexation of West Hayden Island.

The “health impact analysis” conducted by Multnomah County officials found that air toxics would likely increase under the Port of Portland’s plans to develop 300 acres on the island. But the analysis also found some health benefits, if trails and parks are created elsewhere on the island.

Gary Oxman is a county health officer and a member of the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

“The negative health impacts for the most part occur locally to the existing population. The benefits to the community are mostly on a regional scale. So how do we balance that equity consideration there?”

Planning commissioners pointed out that Hayden Island residents tend to be older and less wealthy than Portland residents as a whole.

Commissioners are wrestling with many unanswered questions about the proposal on a tight timeline. Mayor Sam Adams wants a recommendation so that Portland City Council can vote on West Hayden Island this year.


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