Ways & Means Roadshow

On 11 February 2017, hundreds of citizens turned out for a town hall to tell the Oregon Senate's Ways and Means Committee what to do about our state's $1.8 billion revenue shortfall. The overall message was resounding: corporate tax reform. Oregon's corporations pay the lowest state taxes in the nation. Eastside Portland Air Coalition was there in force to advocate for a robust DEQ budget in support of the air toxics regulatory overhaul. And we agree: the remedy is for corporations who do business in Oregon to start paying their fair share. Here are some of the ...

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A right to know

What are your local polluters putting into the air, water and soil around your homes, schools, parks, the places where you live and work? You have the right to know. The right to know what hazardous chemicals we are being exposed to is a fundamental principal of environmental justice and a central tenet of the Precautionary Principle ("transparency is mandatory"). Knowledge is the beginning of empowerment and the backbone of sound policymaking. Citizens have the right to know what is in the air we are breathing, the water we rely on, and the soil that sustains us ...

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We Did It

On Thursday September 29th, the DEQ's rulemaking body, the Environmental Quality Commission, voted to adopt the Permanent Rules for Colored Art Glass Manufacturers. WE DID THIS, YOU GUYS! We made this happen! I feel so proud of what we have accomplished and grateful to everyone who worked so hard on this. Our many hours of volunteer, grassroots work has paid off: asking a million questions, researching the science, talking with our neighbors, canvassing, working with other air groups, organizing events, attending and speaking out at countless meetings, ...

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Uroboros to Shut? Advocates React

Our own Jessica Applegate speaks to KOIN 6 News.

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EQC adopts Permanent Rules for Colored Art Glass Manufacturers

It was a little too exciting this morning as the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission took up proposed Permanent Rules for Colored Art Glass Manufacturers. You could hear a pin drop as Commissioner Rider repeatedly interrupted the staff presentation; long-term followers will remember – she was the sole vote against the Temporary Rules that, prior to today's action, were set to expire on October 18th. But in the end the rules were adopted with only Rider dissenting. Will they become the new national standard for regulating glass companies? It's been a long and ...

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Cleaner Air Oregon: Advocacy Groups Express Concerns

The Eastside Portland Air Coalition, in collaboration with Eugene-based Beyond Toxics, issued a letter this morning to Governor Kate Brown, OHA Director Lynn Saxton, Interim DEQ Director Peter Shepherd, and Deputy DEQ Director Leah Feldon. Download the Press Release here. Concerns about the Governor's Cleaner Air Oregon initiative prompted the letter. Several demands are stated – for starters, the advocacy groups ask the Governor to personally attend the first meeting, but the most compelling demand regards the perception of conflicts of interest, Dow...

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Public Comment: Characteristics of the Next DEQ Director

Madame Chair, Commissioners: my name is Frank Peters; thank you for this opportunity for Public Comment. Like everyone here today, I have given much thought to the characteristics of the next DEQ Director, as that person will shape the agency, for better or for worse. Because many others will speak so articulately, I cannot offer a better description of what a new Director should be. My suggestion is for a different approach altogether. Bear with me as I point out your short-term dilemma: in only a few months this agency will submit budgets to the Legislature. ...

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A Plea for Health-Based Standards

It was early September 2001 and a younger version of myself had just moved to Portland. My oldest sister, who had lived here for a few years already, found us a cute 2-bedroom apartment in SE. It was a scary and exciting time; I was fresh out of my parents' house, on my own – I loved my city! Over the years Portland changed a great deal and myself along with it. I moved out of the apartment with my sister and experienced several other neighborhoods. I started making friends who were interested in the same stuff I was – I started to feel a real sense of community. I ...

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EQC Meets to Refine the Recruitment Search

The initial search process failed to identify a suitable candidate to be the permanent Director of the DEQ. As the Environmental Quality Commission takes stock of what to do next, a professional search firm from Colorado is selected and today's meeting includes a wide-ranging discussion of what went wrong so far and how the Commission wants to go forward. Listen to the Commissioners describe the "gaps" in the experience of the initial candidates that have been reviewed. The second agenda item leads to the Commission's unanimous consent to elevate Leah Feldon ...

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DEQ: Bullseye meets deadline

Bullseye Glass in SE Portland
SE Portland residents may have cause for optimism this morning as the DEQ announces progress at Bullseye Glass: The DEQ announcement confirmed residents' worst fears though, Arguably, of all the unfiltered chemicals Bullseye has emitted, hexavalent chromium is the most dangerous to human health. Coincidentally, it was hexavalent chromium that propelled Erin Brockovich to fame in 2000; her April visit encouraged local activists. See the DEQ news alert, Bullseye Glass Co. cleans exhaust stacks, completes installation of additional baghouse controls.

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