Precision Castparts Promises Independent Review Of New Air Pollution Controls

By Amelia Templeton

The Portland company Precision Castparts met Wednesday night with a group of neighbors concerned about air pollution from the company. Precision Castparts manufactures parts for airplane engines.

Air monitoring data released by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality last week showed higher than normal concentrations of nickel near the company’s foundry, but regulators said the nickel was not at a level that causes a risk to public health.

Precision plant manager Aaron Johnson said he believes those nickel emissions are relatively safe, because Precision works with metal alloys that aren’t readily absorbed by the human body.

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About 200 neighbors and activists came to the meeting. The group South Portland Air Quality asked the company to reimburse people who want to test their urine for heavy metals, and to support stronger air pollution regulations.

This month Precision Castparts installed several new filters it says will cut down on its metal emissions. The company says it has hired environmental consulting firm TRC Solutions to evaluate its new pollution controls, and will make that review available to the public.