- Get Involved in the state government’s initiative, Cleaner Air Oregon:
Please TAKE ACTION ONLINE for the Cleaner Air Oregon initiative — New deadline for submission of comments will be 4 pm, Monday, Jan. 22nd
Read Lisa Arkin’s report,
“A 5-Point Plan to Protect Public Health from Air Toxics and Improve Permitting and Reporting” (PDF)
Beyond Toxics has always been a strong champion for clean air! That’s why we are actively participating in solving the recent Portland air toxics problem. This is an opportunity to protect public health across the state.
The Environmental Quality Commission is considering adopting temporary rules to reduce metals emissions from small colored art glass manufacturing facilities in Portland. These facilities use cadmium, arsenic, chromium, and other metals in their production. Currently there are no state or federal rules that limit levels of metal emissions from glass making facilities.
Beyond Toxics recommends that you consider four main critiques of the proposed air toxics rules. Please read on about how you can weigh in on the proposed temporary rules….
TALKING POINTS – details…
(we encourage you to use your own language when you can…)
To the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission:
I appreciate and support the DEQ’s proposed rules that prohibit the uncontrolled emissions of hazardous air pollutants from glassmaking facilities. However, the proposed temporary rules are not enough. These rules should be strengthened as follows:
- STATEWIDE RULE MAKING: The temporary rules must apply to all glass manufacturers and glass makers statewide. Any Oregon resident living near a glass manufacturing facility could be at risk for exposure to heavy metals. Why only protect people living in certain Portland neighborhoods? What possible reason is there to allow for uncontrolled emissions of cadmium, arsenic, and chromium VI in other areas of Portland, in other cities or other areas of the State?
- REGULATE ALL HEAVY METALS: New rules should apply to the full suite of heavy metals utilized by glass manufacturers and glass makers, not just three heavy metals – cadmium, arsenic, and chromium VI.
- ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: The temporary rules are insufficient to protect public and environmental health for the most vulnerable Oregonians. The DEQ knows these risks of heavy metal exposure affect other neighborhoods, not only neighborhoods near two Portland glass manufacturers, but is not addressing those risks through this temporary rulemaking. The DEQ’s own research shows that low-income neighborhoods and communities of color are most likely to be harmed by air toxics. DEQ must regulate through its obligations under HB 420, Oregon’s environmental justice statutes, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
- PUBLIC REVIEW GUARANTEED: The public should have a full and fair opportunity to review all air permits issued by the state agency. All permits should be accessible on the DEQ website. For new permits and permits up for renewal, the public should have ample opportunity to provide comments. There should be no authorization to pollute granted to a facility by DEQ other than a permit that is subject to public notice and comment.