2017 Oregon State Legislative Bills

Beyond Toxics has brought forward 5 bills for consideration by the 2017 Oregon state legislature.

  1. Oregon Toxics Reporting Act – HB 2669/SB 995 (more)
    Oregon Pollinator Protection Act – SB 929 (more)
    Timber Aerial Spray Right to Know bill – SB 892 (more)
    Human Health Criteria – SB 499 (more)
    Report of Loss bill – SB 500 (more)

What you can do
If you’d like to get involved and contact your state senator (Senate) or representative (House), but are unsure of who represents you, please look them up here: Find Your Oregon Legislator. For ideas about what to say in your communications, please click on the TAKE ACTION link for each bill listing below.

The Oregon Toxics Reporting and Right to Know Act (HB 2669/SB 995)

HB 2669 | Bill Title: Relating to community right to know regulatory programs.
Summary: 
Modifies requirements for local community right to know regulatory programs for toxic substances and harmful substances.  | The bill as introduced->>

SB 995 | Summary: Requires employer operating certain facility to submit annual materials  balance report on facility’s input and output of hazardous materials to  Department of Environmental Quality. Allows department to adopt rules  and impose civil penalty for violation. | The bill as introduced->>

The Problem
Oregon’s environmental protection agency does not collect detailed air and water pollution emissions data. They also don’t share the data with the public. The Community Toxics Reporting Act fills this gap. The bill creates opportunities for governments and people to know what pollution going into their air and water. Communities and public officials need this data to understand the location and risk levels of toxic chemicals that damage human health and the environment.

The Solution
Beyond Toxics and major clean air advocates in Oregon worked to demonstrate that it is critical to adopt the Community Toxics Reporting Act. Oregon legislators have created 2 versions of the bill: HB 2669 (sponsored by Representative Nosse and Senator Taylor) and SB 995 (sponsored by Senators Riley and Gelser) BOTH implement toxics reporting programs. The two bills are similar, but have a few important differences.

Legislators who support HB 2669:

Chief Sponsors:
Representative Nosse – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1442 | Email
Representative Keny-Guyer – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1446 | Email
Senator Taylor – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1721 | Email
Co-Sponsors:
Representatives:
Ken Helm – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1434 | Email
Karin Power – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1441 | Email
Tawna D. Sanchez – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1443 | Email
Barbara Smith Warner – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1445 | Email
Phil Barnhart – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1411 | Email

Legislators who support SB 995:

Chief Sponsors:
Sen. Sara Gelser – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1708 | Email
Sen. Chuck Riley – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1715 | Email

HEARINGS:
The first hearing for HB 2669 is scheduled for Monday, March 20th at 3 PM in front of the House Committee on Energy and Environment: Hearing Room D of the Capitol Building in Salem. If you’d like to get involved and send emails of support, visit our Take Action page.

The first hearing for SB 995 is scheduled for Monday, March 27th at 3 PM in front of the Senate Committee On Environment and Natural ResourcesHearing Room C of the Capitol Building in Salem. If you’d like to get involved and send emails of support, visit our Take Action page.

Email us and let us know if you would like to be kept informed about the progress of this bill.

See our current list of endorsers of HB 2669->>

Are you a business or organization that would like to endorse the Community Toxics Reporting Act? Just fill out our endorsement form!

Read more->>

The Oregon Pollinator Protection Act (SB 929)

SB 929 | Summary
Requires State Department of Agriculture to classify neonicotinoids as restricted use pesticides. Requires department to restrict sale and use of pesticide products containing neonicotinoids. Creates exceptions. Requires that information concerning restrictions on neonicotinoid use be included in educational materials developed by Oregon State University and department. | The bill as introduced

Consumers are Unsuspecting Users of Dangerous, Bio-Persistent Pesticides
Pesticide labels don’t warn consumers about the uptake of neonicotinoids through tissue in trees and plants. Shoppers assume that products sold at garden and grocery stores are completely safe. People are less likely to read pesticide labels under the assumption that products are safe. Oregon currently protects people from 500 dangerous pesticides.

The Benefits of the Oregon Pollinator Protection Act:
The Oregon Pollinator Protection Act will place necessary restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides (adding them to the list of RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDES) for consumers’ purchase and use. Oregon already has rules to keep nearly 500 dangerous pesticides out of the hands of untrained consumers; it makes sense that neonicotinoids, highly toxic and bio-persistent, should be added to this list. This bill does not change the availability of neonicotinoids to professional applicators, farmers or veterinarians who are trained and licensed.

Oregon will join more than 20 states, cities, federal agencies and universities that have already taken steps to restrict neonicotinoids, including Portland, Eugene and Milwaukie. Oregon can be a leader in the protection and preservation of these insects so vital to and intertwined with our natural ecosystem and local agriculture.

See our current list of endorsers of SB 929

Legislators who support SB 929:
Chief Sponsors: Sen. Floyd Prozanski – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1704 | Email
and Rep. Pam Marsh – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1405 | Email
Co-Sponsors: Sen. Kathleen Taylor – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1721 | Email
Rep. Paul Holvey – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1408 | Email
Sen. James Manning Jr. – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1707 | Email
Sen. Lew Frederick – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1722 | Email
Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1725 | Email
Sen. Ginny Burdick – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1700 | Email
Rep. Chris Gorsek – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1449 | Email
Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1446 | Email
Rep. Tawna Sanchez – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1443 | Email
Rep. Janeen A. Sollman – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1430 | Email
Rep. Rob Nosse – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1442 | Email
Rep. John Lively – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1412 | Email

Supporters:
Rep. Jeff Reardon – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1448 | Email

Hearings:
The first hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 27th at 3 PM in front of the Senate Committee On Environment and Natural ResourcesHearing Room C in the Capitol Building in Salem. If you’d like to get involved, we recommend contacting the members of this committee to express your support with a polite email or call. (check here for a listing of committee membership) | Email us and let us know if you would like to be kept informed about the progress of this bill.

Are you a business or organization that would like to endorse the Oregon Pollinator Protection Act (SB 929)? Just fill out our endorsement form!

Read more->>

—-FORESTRY-RELATED BILLS—-

The Timber Aerial Spray Right to Know bill – SB 892

SB 892 | Summary: Requires filing notice with State Forestry Department of proposed aerial application of pesticide as planned forest management activity on privately owned forestland. | The bill as introduced->>

Statement of the problem
In Oregon, the law allows industrial timber companies to use helicopters to spray herbicides from the air throughout timberland. Until 2015 Oregon had no protective no-spray buffer zone to protect people and pets on their home property or children at schools. Also, under Oregon law, aerial spray applicators don’t have to provide records of their pesticide use, which leaves agencies and the public unable to monitor the impacts of chemical use in forestry.

After a vicious battle at the State Legislature, Beyond Toxics was able to force the State to adopt Oregon’s first-ever no spray zone to protect human health. New rules require a 60 ft. no-spray zone for homes and school buildings. Truly, this was a hard-fought outcome, but it is barely a band aid on a major hemorrhage. What’s needed is to ban aerial sprays on timber lands because of the extreme risk to human health, drinking water purity and impacts to wildlife.

The 2015 Legislature also refused to pass a law requiring the Dept. of Forestry to provide timely notification to residents, schools, medical and public facilities prior to aerial pesticide applications on nearby industrial timber land. Oregonians need timely notification to protect their children, pets, livestock, gardens and drinking water.

SOLUTION
Until Oregon acts to ban aerial sprays, we must ensure the Legislature provides as many protections as possible to people impacted by aerial sprays. Oregon can help vulnerable rural families now by passing SB 892!

The Benefits of SB 892

SB 892 fixes two problems:
• ADVANCED WARNING FOR AERIAL SPRAYS: Rural residents need a warning prior to an aerial spray. A warning will help residents ensure the safety of their family, pets, livestock and gardens. E-warnings can be issued by the FERNS Notification system, a web-based, centralized database of all forestry operations managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry. The FERNS system can send out e-notifications to anyone requesting timely notification.

• REPORTING PESTICIDE USE: SB 892 requires a spray applicator to file spray records with the Dept. of Forestry within five days following a spray operation. The proposed rule is necessary because Oregonians have the right to know the extent of herbicide use in our watersheds, habitat lands and communities. Better communication would allow impacted communities and agencies to work collaboratively to minimize risk. Requiring the Spray Record uses existing regulatory infrastructure, such as FERNS and mandatory spray record keeping.

Introduced by Senator Michael Dembrow

Legislators who support it:
Chief Sponsors: Senator Michael Dembrow – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1723 | Email
Co-Sponsors: Rep. Paul Holvey – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1408 | Email

HEARINGS:
The first hearing for 2 of our bills: SB 892 (Notification), SB 500 (Report of Loss bill) is scheduled for Wednesday, March 22nd at 3 PM in front of the Senate Committee On Environment and Natural ResourcesHearing Room C in the Capitol Building in Salem. If you’d like to get involved, we recommend contacting the members of this committee to express your support with a polite email or call. (check here for a listing of committee membership) | Email us and let us know if you would like to be kept informed about the progress of this bill.

RESOURCES:
See more about our Forestry Pesticide Project

Read more->>

Report of Loss bill – SB 500

SB 500 | Bill Title: Relating to reports of loss arising from pesticides. | State of Oregon page
Summary: Eliminates requirement to timely report to State Department of Agriculture loss arising out of use or application of pesticide before commencing action to recover for loss. | The bill as introduced->>

Statement of the problem
Currently, persons experiencing harm, loss or damage from another person’s use of a pesticide have only 60 days to file a Report of Loss form to submit to the Oregon Department of Agriculture. If the form is not filed within 60 days, an Oregon resident loses their right to take their property damage case to court. The form requires specific information about the spray incident including details pertaining to the pesticide applicator and the chemicals that were used. Oftentimes a person experiencing harm or loss from pesticide exposure may not have the necessary information to file the Report of Loss within the brief 60-day time frame, or may not immediately understand the nature of the harm. As is often the case, they must wait for the completion of agriculture state agency report – the Oregon Department of Agriculture or an Oregon Department of Forestry of an Oregon Department of Environmental Quality – investigation report, which can take as long as six or eight months.

SOLUTION
Other states such as Idaho and Washington do not require a Report of Loss form to be filed within a 60-day deadline. Our Legislature should modernize Oregon law to match other Northwest states by removing this onerous burden of a short statute of limitations for pesticide loss. Oregonians should not be prevented from seeking relief from harm in a court of law while waiting for the completion of an agency’s investigation report. Oregonians should not be subject to onerous limitations and barriers they would not face if they lived in Washington or Idaho.

What the bill does
The proposed bill language, verbatim from the Washington statutory code on the Report of Loss, would state:

The filing of a report, or the failure to file a report, need not be alleged in any complaint, filed in a court of law. The failure to file the report shall not be considered a bar to the maintenance of any criminal or civil action.

Legislators who support it:

SB 500 | Bill Title: Relating to reports of loss arising from pesticides.
Chief Sponsors:
name – Capitol Phone: 503-986-0000 | Email

HEARINGS:
The first hearing for 2 of our bills: SB 892 (Notification), SB 500 (Report of Loss bill) is scheduled for Wednesday, March 22nd at 3 PM in front of the Senate Committee On Environment and Natural ResourcesHearing Room C in the Capitol Building in Salem. If you’d like to get involved, we recommend contacting the members of this committee to express your support with a polite email or call. (check here for a listing of committee membership). Email us and let us know if you would like to be kept informed about the progress of this bill.

Background/origins:
See more about our Forestry Pesticide Project

Read more->>

Human Health Criteria – SB 499

SB 499 | Bill Title: Relating to actions based on farming or forest practices.
Summary: Creates exceptions to limitation on liability for certain farming and forest practices for actions for serious harm to human health and loss of use of residential property or domestic drinking water. | The bill as introduced->>

Legislators who support it:

Chief Sponsors:
name – Capitol Phone: 503-986-0000 | Email

Co-Sponsors:
name – Capitol Phone: 503-986-0000 | Email

Hearings:
There are no hearings scheduled yet for SB 499. Email us and let us know if you would like to be kept informed about the progress of this bill.

Background/origins:
See more about our Forestry Pesticide Project



How an idea becomes law->>