Thursday, September 27, 2007

Affidavit of C.J. Zadoorian

This is the geotechnical engineer who reviewed the arborist's report which was done at the request of the Drainage District.

I edited out the case caption and some other headers and footer but he affidavit is in it's entirety.


I, CHRIS J. ZADOORIAN, swear, affirm under oath that:
1. I am a resident of the State of California. I am a competent person 18 years of age or older.
2. I am a licensed professional geotechnical engineer and a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in Civil Engineering and the University of Southern California with a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering with and emphasis in Geotechnical Engineering. I am licensed to practice engineering in California and Nevada and have over 16 years of geotechnical engineering experience in California, Nevada and Oregon. Regarding the subject matter, I am working under the responsible charge of Scott V. Mills, a licensed civil and geotechnical engineer in the States of Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona with over 25 years geotechnical engineering consulting experience in Portland, Oregon.a licensed civil and geotechnical engineer in the State of Oregon. My involvement in this assignment is partially due to my general knowledge of the situation regarding woody vegetation on levees in Sacramento, California.
3. I am a Principal Engineer with GEODESIGN INC., a geotechnical and environmental engineering services firm with offices in Anaheim, California, Portland, Oregon, Vancouver and Seattle, Washington. I work from the office at 2121 Towne Centre Place - Suite 130, Anaheim, California and am the office manager and responsible Principal for this office.
4. GEODESIGN INC. has been retained by the Bridgeton Neighborhood Association to provide Geotechnical Consultation Service, including the review of an arborist report dated September 13, 2007 prepared by Mr. John O’ Shea, Consulting Arborist, regarding the condition of trees on the Bridgeton Road Levee. Mr. O’Shea’s report was prepared for the Multnomah County Drainage District.
5. In his report dated September 13, 2007, Mr. O’Shea has concluded that 120 trees should be removed immediately to meet federal standards. The letter does not establish a basis for this conclusion and generally lacks supporting documentation to validate the conclusion. A primary omission from the letter is detailed logs of excavations depicting root systems for trees identified for removal and positive confirmation that the subject tree root systems do in fact penetrate the critical section of the levee.
6. An arborist is not qualified or authorized by the Oregon Board of Engineering Examiners to perform an assessment of the structural integrity of the Bridgeton Road Levee and the effect of tree growth on this levee. These analyses must be completed by a Registered Professional Engineer licensed in the State of Oregon.
7. Oregon Revised Statutes Section 672.005 (b) defines the practice of engineering as the application of “special knowledge of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences…for the purpose of ensuring compliance with specifications and design, in connection with any public or private utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, works or projects”. Persons found to practice engineering without a license are subject to civil and criminal penalties (ORS Section 672.991).
8. An evaluation of the effect of tree growth on the Bridgeton Levee requires an understanding of the equations and methods to calculate wind-throw forces, slope stability, definition of the critical section of the levee, and earthwork and grading practices. This expertise is clearly within the profession of geotechnical engineering. A licensed professional engineer must complete the engineering analyses of data regarding the levee, such as root depth and canopy size of the subject trees, and recommendations for mitigation, if required.
9. An on-going evaluation of the Army Corps of Engineers policy regarding woody vegetation appears to have resulted in a major change in the blanket policy as it applies to levees in Sacramento, California. Considerations made for Sacramento levees may be applicable to the Bridgeton levee, provided sufficient engineering evaluation is performed.
10. To date, sufficient and justifiable engineering data has not been provided that supports the plan to remove 120 trees from the Bridgeton levee. In addition, the very policy that is being referenced for the required tree removal is under intense scrutiny as there does not appear to be a justifiable basis for this policy.
11. The recent decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate further evaluate the potential impact of woody vegetation on Sacramento levees should be considered in the evaluation of the trees on the Bridgeton levee.
12. Sufficient data has not been provided to demonstrate that the 120 trees on the Bridgeton Road levee constitute an immediate threat to the stability of the levee. Further, sufficient time has not been provided to evaluate alternative mitigation measures for trees that would constitute a threat.
13. Mass removal of large growth species may result in a less favorable condition for the levee as this would likely leave a significant quantity of dead roots within the critical section of the levee and the impact on the levee and risk associated with this potential condition has not been evaluated.

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