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 ...
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,
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. ...
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.
All the current candidates are impressive, but the EQC feels it must use professional search to find the next DEQ Director.
Listen to the conference call. Download the agenda.
I placed it on my calendar as "DEQ Vision and Strategic Goals" – the email came on short notice. The Environmental Quality Commission met this morning to review everything from budgets and setting priorities to the quite candid discussion of DEQ's credibility and how to rebuild it.
Listen to the first hour – you'll have to guess who's speaking, but one thing you'll hear is their frank comments about an agency that is working to rebuild trust.
As part of the regulatory reform process, the Oregon DEQ Technical Workgroup held two day-long meetings this week to compare and contrast different air toxics programs across the country. Programs compared were: Louisville, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Coast (CA), Washington. Oregon was strangely missing.
See the DEQ Technical Workgroup page for more information and to read the white papers the group discussed.
Here is a brief summary of my notes. I also posted these notes in the EPAC Facebook group so we can all discuss.
The study that ignited a firestorm in SE Portland – the U.S. Forest Service released its long-anticipated tree moss report today.
Cheaper than instrument air monitors, hundreds of tree moss samples were taken around Portland. The results led to clear pinpointing of toxic metal emissions where regulators had only suspicions previously.
Since word first broke of the study and the hotspots around glass manufacturers it showed, almost non-stop attention has been focused on the DEQ, the surrounding neighborhood and local elected officials as they came to terms ...
Public comments & commission action
The commission will convene for a special meeting on March 15, 2016, to take action on proposed temporary rules, and potentially on temporary rule amendments to existing rules, in Oregon Administrative Rules chapter 340, division 244. The proposed temporary rules and amendments will be regarding air quality emissions from facilities within the Portland Air Quality Maintenance Area that manufacture colored glass for use in art, architecture, interior design and other similar decorative ...
Action and Next Steps
The commission will convene for a special meeting on March 14, 2016, to discuss hiring the permanent director for DEQ. Staff from the Oregon Department of Justice may advise the commissioners on their role, legal rights and responsibilities and potential processes for hiring DEQ’s director. Commissioners may discuss and take action on any next steps for the hiring process.
Following the EQC discussion, the commission will open a public comment opportunity specific to these matters. People interested ...