Six decades ago, upset by noisy railroad trains and diesel fumes in the Brooklyn rail yard (that’s SE Portland, not the ‘other’ Brooklyn), residents obtained a court injunction limiting the operations of the Southern Pacific Railroad (now Union Pacific). According to a story in today’s Oregonian, “Pollution near Brooklyn rail yard monitored by Reed College, SE Portland neighbors,” that injunction is now being lifted by a mutual agreement between the residents and Union Pacific.
The railroad has promised to modernize its equipment as part of the new agreement. The neighbors, however, plan to keep an eye on air quality with the assistance of Prof. Juliane Fry and her research team. The Reed College chemists have installed monitoring devices that will measure air quality near the yard. One goal of the monitoring program is to gain a better understanding of the pollutants emitted by trains and the trucks that service them.