News Sep 11, 2013 at 4:00 am

A New Crematory Has Montavilla Neighbors Fuming


Keith Richards: 'I DID snort my dad's ashes'

Rolling Stones star confirms NME story after all
In high school track, the pole vaulting area where I practiced for 4 years was 50 ft. from a crematorium. Smelled like burning marshmallows...
I really can't blame the residents, it's a tad unsettling to know you're breathing cooked human.
Montavilla? Only sketchy meth smoking crackheads live out there!

Oh wait nowadays they're calling it "the next Alberta". Quick, protect the value of that 900sq ft home that you just paid $300,000 for!
In this article, David Monro of the DEQ is quoted saying: "Depending on the rate of operation, generally incinerators like this are fairly low emitters."' The problem is that DEQ does NOT regulate or enforce the operating hours. I was told by Dan Murphy of the DEQ that, as far as DEQ is concerned, they are allowed to operate 24 hours a day and that the city regulates hours of operation. I was told by the city Board of Development Services (Mike Reefle) that, as far as the city is concerned, the crematorium is allowed to operate 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. The only restriction is noise (not exceeding 55 dB at night, from 10pm to 7am). So who is measuring the pollution in the smoke from this furnace? And how can DEQ regulate emissions if they don't regulate the operating hours?
The reporter fails to mention that the smoke (and ash) is carried across the street to an elementary school playground. For those of you who read this: Would you want your young child(ren) playing in the smoke and ash of the dearly departed?
The DEQ is incorrect in their statement of "in compliance".

As a group of concerned homeowners, parents, and business owners in the neighborhood, we have been monitoring the crematory on a daily basis over the past few months. We have documented higher opacity levels between 30%-40% and at 10-15 minute sessions of this unregulated toxic smoke.

As featured in KOIN's video, the smoke was closer to 90% opacity and for over 10 minutes. This smoke is clearly not in compliance with DEQ's General Air Contaminant Discharge Permit # AQGP-012, section 2.0 Emission Standards and Limits: 2.1 Visible Emissions. The crematory is allowed six minutes of smoke with 20% opacity as measured by EPA Method 9. Dan Murphy at the DEQ refuses to acknowledge this issue and take any action to enforce their own rules defined in the permit. We've supplied them with documentation and disturbing videos with the toxic black and grey smoke spewing over Vestal Elementary:

Also, the City of Portland issued a Notice of Noise Violation to the crematory on September 6, 2013. They were exceeding noise decibels for commercial to residential: at 63 Hertz the sound measured 74 dB, at 125 hertz the sound measured 67 dB, and at 250 Herz the sound measured 64 dB. The sound levels were also monitored by our group with an average 65 dB. According to Chapter 18.10 Maximum Permissible Sound Levels as defined by the City, they were in violation but actually cited for low-pressure levels. They have until September 23, 2013 to remedy the issue or will face up to $5000 in daily fines.

Finally according to DEQ's permit under Public Notice, the neighborhood never was given 30 days notice about the Gable Funeral Home & Cremation Service's (formerly Cremation & Burial Care of Oregon) intention to install the crematorium. For the crematory to qualify for the air discharge permit the wording states: All of the following conditions must be met in order to quality for assignment to this General Air Contaminant Discharge Permit (ACDP). So there is a very large question of whether or not the DEQ should have issued the permit based on non-public input alone.
DEQ is a total joke. our neighbor burns garbage in his fireplace regularly, filling the neighborhood with thick, acrid smoke that you can barely see through on some days. we called DEQ and they admitted that yes, what our neighbor is doing is illegal but all they can do is mail him a pamphlet about not burning garbage.
Chunty, I know you think you are being ever-so-clever...but the folks most affected by this place have lived in the neighborhood for 7+ years. No one bought their home for that kind of money. And trust me, when we moved in, no one really wanted to live a block or two off 82nd with used rigs and condoms on the sidewalk. Yes, the neighborhood has improved. I hope we aren't scapegoated for that -- and have to trade one problem for another.
Our city informs us whenever a bar opens near our street, strongly encourages us to compost to protect mother earth, yet does absolutely nothing when it comes to burning human remains behind our community school--a failure of leadership and common sense. Totally pathetic.
Terry D: Few bought their homes for that kind of money but I personally know at least two households that recently sold their rather average Montavilla dwellings for around $300k. Sure, you may have been there a while, but you'll cash out soon enough. Mark my words.
You may be actually living next to a crematory yourself, or walk past one everyday. This is not the only crematory in the Portland area around a ton of residences or schools. I researched licenses online (67 licensed funeral establishments, cemeteries, and crematoriums in just the City of Portland), and did an satellite view on Google to verify if there was surrounding homes or schools, Google Street View, and this is what I found. I did not list all licensed crematories on here in the Portland Area (and believe me, there is more), as I noticed the other ones were in either an industrial area, or in the middle of a large cemetery.

First Call Plus Crematory: 48th and NE Pacific (Next to homes, day care, I-84 & Providence Hospital);
Omega Crematory: South of 122nd and Burnside (Next to homes, max light rail, apartments, and high foot traffic area);
Portland Memorial Crematory: 14th and SE Bybee (homes and a park);
Springer & Sons Aloha Crematory: SW 185th and SW Pike (next to homes);
PFS Crematory: 47th and NE Thompson (next to homes and across the street from Killer Burger);
PFS Crematory Gresham: West Powell and SW Eastman Parkway (next to apartments, WEST GRESHAM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, and Subway Restaurant).

It would be interesting to find out why one crematory smokes and not the other ones, or do the other ones smoke, but yet people don't talk about it? I guess I am surprised by my research to find out the Montavilla Crematory is not the only one in Portland residential areas, let alone not being the only one next to a school. Interesting article.
Yes l looked at where the other ones are the case of the one on 122nd ( which is the closest to residences) it's NOT 30 feet from someone's backyard. And with that noisy thing literally in my backyard - and my neighbors' - it might be a good thing on disguise. Because we will likely NEVER be able to sell our house - they can just take use there and cremate us when we die. We aren't going to be able to move. As for 300 thousand dollar homes...not on my street
When we moved into the neighborhood 8 years ago, the funeral home was simply that: a long-standing family-owned business who provided funeral services for the departed. They were great neighbors: they were quiet, would notify neighbors if there was going to be a larger funeral, and supported the little league team. I heard they had thought about adding a crematorium but decided against it because of its location in a residential neighborhood and it's proximity to the elementary school half a block away. In other words, it was not to the benefit of the community.

Last year all of that changed when it was bought by Stonemor group. If you go on the Cremation and Burial Care or Gable Funeral Services websites (one will direct into the other), you will see how they pride themselves on being a local family-owned business for over 95 years. That was true when it was still under prior ownership. I fail to understand how an owner sitting in Pennsylvania is local. And since it has been under new ownership, the neighbors have had nothing but problems. We began to realize these new owners had little respect for the law when they began construction without pulling the necessary permits first. The first night the crematorium ran, it sounded like a supersonic jet flying overhead for over 3 hours.

Nowadays, there are next to no funeral services here. Night owls see hearses pull up in the middle of the night delivering the departed. Two to three people are cremated here a day on average, 6-7 days a week. Some days it's already running before 7 a.m.

Gable Funeral Services' solution is to offer us a tour of the facility. Really? Is that their solution to the toxic smoke that my children get to breathe when they go outside to play? Do they have a pamphlet I can pass out to their young friends to explain the funny smells? Do they provide earplugs for the noise levels I can hear in our home a block away while I have my dishwasher running?
I love the smell of napalm in the morning, along with the fragrance of an entire burning population of a small jungle village.
Residents of Montavilla now know firsthand what plant life everywhere experiences when someone nearby smokes a cigarette (or whatever) or grills some veggies: being forced to breathe in the fumes resultant from the wanton burning of their kin.
All of these whiny comments totally explain why I usually stew my human meat. Who wants the neighbors bitching when you're preparing a delicious repast? Enjoy that succulent herb steeped flesh without the distraction of somebody calling 911.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.