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Advancing Environmental Justice in 2023

Our 2023 Legislative Priorities

I am thrilled to report that we are gearing up for another very exciting year of advocacy and activism! Each year Beyond Toxics creates a list of priorities for the Oregon legislative session, working with our members and community partners to support strong public and environmental health policies for the state.

Our advocacy campaigns are rooted in environmental justice, putting equity and inclusion in all sectors of Oregon policy-making at the center of our work. I believe that, in order to build a thriving and just Oregon, we need to urge local legislators to vote in favor of strong and equitable policies that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and the advancement of human rights and dignity.

We are leading three priority initiatives during the 2023 Oregon legislative session. The issues addressed reflect areas of concern for frontline communities bearing the brunt of climate change and environmental degradation. Our team remains a steadfast advocate for all Oregonians, especially those living in underserved communities across the state.

These are our three legislative priorities for the 2023 session:

  • Help Oregon achieve its strong climate goals

  • Strengthen and update pesticide policies on school grounds

  • Increase accountability for waste incinerators to protect Oregon’s air quality

Natural Climate Solutions (SB 530)

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Creating Natural Climate Solutions
We are working with a statewide coalition to put forward the Natural Climate Solutions bill, SB 530. This could be a game-changer for climate action in Oregon! SB 530 is a comprehensive bill that will help the state achieve its climate goals, support Oregon’s environmental justice communities and small landowners, improve equitable outcomes in the face of climate change, and protect our state’s vital natural resources. 

If passed, SB 530 will…

  • Create an ongoing source of state funding for voluntary actions to draw down carbon from the atmosphere and store it on natural and working lands, such as forest land, farm land and wetlands;

  • Position Oregon to leverage federal funding and private investments in natural climate solutions on natural and working lands;

  • Fund and direct state agencies to provide incentives and technical support to forest owners, farmers, ranchers, and environmental justice communities on natural and working lands to adopt climate smart practices; and

  • Invest in a comprehensive Oregon natural and working lands inventory and study opportunities for workforce development and training.

In addition to all these climate benefits, implementing this bill will result in significant and measurable environmental benefits of cleaner air, healthier soils and protected drinking water.

This ambitious piece of legislation prioritizes activities that protect or improve the ability of Oregon’s natural and working lands to sequester carbon. This is the necessary climate action our state needs and, if it is successful, it will put an amazing framework in place to address greenhouse gas reduction in our forests, agricultural lands, and rangelands.” ~ Teryn Yazdani, Staff Attorney and Climate Policy Manager

 

Read more about the Natural Climate Solutions bill

Toxic Free Schools (SB 426)

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Pesticide Reduction and Improved Management Practices For Schools
Our second legislative priority is The Toxic Free Schools bill, SB 426, which is part of a three bill suite of environmental health bills lined up to protect children's health from exposure to toxic chemicals. The goal of SB 426 is to improve transparency around pesticide use in Oregon schools and provide funding to support schools integrated pest management planning. When Oregon's School Integrated Pest Management law was enacted in 2009, it did not allocate funding to the Department of Education or school districts to implement the law. As a result, many hazardous and unlawful pesticide applications have occurred on Oregon’s school campuses in the last thirteen years.

If SB 426 is passed, a proactive approach to adopting the safest pest management methods will ensure school children are not exposed to pesticides that can cause cancer and other negative health impacts.

If passed, SB 426 bill will…

  • Improve transparency around pesticide use in schools by aligning School IPM law with the Healthy and Safe Schools Act;

  • Direct the Department of Education to convene a stakeholder advisory group to coordinate and problem-solve IPM implementation in Oregon schools;

  • Provide funding for three pilot projects to implement an electronic Pesticide Applicator Recordkeeping application developed by Oregon METRO government;

Ultimately, the Toxic Free Schools bill will provide resources to the Department of Education to support school districts in updating and implementing IPM plans and improve transparency under Healthy and Safe schools. The goal is to prevent children's exposure to pesticides on athletic fields, playgrounds, cafeterias and learning spaces.” ~ Jennifer Eisele, Pesticide Policy Manager

Read more about the Toxic Free Schools bill

Oregon's Medical Waste Incineration Act (SB 488)

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Covanta waste incinerator, Chester, PA. Image courtesy of Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living.

Air Quality Solutions
The third bill we are prioritizing is Oregon's Medical Waste Incineration Act, SB 488. This bill will close a regulatory loophole in Oregon’s air quality laws that allows a municipal waste (trash) incinerator to burn large amounts of medical and industrial waste, including waste trucked in from out-of-state. Each year, Oregon’s municipal waste incinerator burns more than 176,000 tons of municipal, medical and industrial waste. In recent years, this incinerator has steadily increased their tons of out-of-state hospital and medical waste every year! Burning medical waste, which is often plastics such as PVC, is known to emit more toxic pollutants than most municipal waste due to the complex nature of medical waste. As medical waste incineration increases, emissions of dioxin compounds and other dangerous chemicals also increase. Dioxin is a highly hazardous toxin linked to cancer and reproductive problems. Currently, the incinerator is regulated under the relatively lax rules despite burning a large percentage of out-of-state medical waste. Oregon can close loopholes in the law that will reduce emissions from waste incinerators. The large amounts of air toxics emitted from its stack has impacted human and environmental health around Marion county for over 30 years.

Now is the time to pass SB 488 to implement a much-needed update to Oregon clean air laws. Oregon must adopt stricter emission limits for incinerators burning large amounts of medical waste incineration. The result will be improved air quality for communities around waste incinerators now and into the future.

If passed, SB 488 will…

  • Give the DEQ the authority to accurately assess how many tons of medical waste is burned annually at a trash incinerator facility;

  • Apply the stricter emission limits required for medical waste incinerators under federal law;

  • Regulate a large polluter and ensure better environmental protection and public health outcomes for all Oregonians.

In essence, Covanta Marion is a medical waste incinerator masquerading as a municipal waste incinerator by taking advantage of this loophole. Covanta Marion essentially doubles its profits by importing medical waste from out of state. The fact that Covanta Marion can burn medical waste and pollute while taking advantage of weak environmental regulations makes Oregon a dumping ground for the toxic pollution that other states don’t allow.” ~ Lisa Arkin, Executive Director

Read more about Oregon's Medical Waste Incineration Act


What To Expect
The Beyond Toxics team will fight to pass all three bills during the 2023 legislative session. Our goal is to keep advancing stronger policies that implement meaningful change for Oregon’s environmental policies and prioritize human and environmental health.

However, we do not work alone! We rely on support from local communities and people that are concerned about environmental and public health issues. You can help us get these bills passed this session!

Here’s how you can get involved right now…

  • Plan for action! Start planning to submit written testimonies in favor of these bills once the hearings begin. The legislative session moves quickly so it’s a good idea to start thinking about your stance on these issues now.

  • Spread the word! Share your thoughts about these bills with your family and friends and encourage them to write their own testimonies in support of any of these three bills.

  • Check your socials! Follow @beyondtoxics on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter and keep an eye out for upcoming Action Alerts in your feeds.

Krystal Abrams, Communications Manager

Ask city for change to prevent more Baxter-like pollution issues now facing west Eugene

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(this article was originally published as an opinion editorial in the May 15th edition of the Eugene Register-Guard)

 

For over 50 years, J.H. Baxter operated a wood treatment facility in West Eugene where wood products are infused with potent oil-based pesticides and chemical treatments. In recent months, J.H. Baxter, facing large civil penalties and an expensive environmental clean-up, announced that they would “mothball” their facility. The owners claimed they were faced with “market volatility” and “diminished returns” and concluded that “it simply doesn’t make financial sense to continue current operations at [their] Eugene facility.” Apparently, JH Baxter’s choice of operational methods, which never made moral or legal sense, is no longer financially sensible.

Celebrations from environmental justice advocates and neighborhood residents are justified. However, the decades of pollution violations, unpaid civil penalties, and unaddressed contamination caused by poorly regulated wastewater and harmful toxic air emissions mean that closed doors may be as much an act of evasion as an act of surrender.

Environmental sampling in the wake of yet another string of investigations has shown there are significant quantities of PCP leaching out from under the facility into surface and ground water and dioxin wafting out and settling in the surrounding neighborhood.

Dioxin, a toxic and persistent organic pollutant (POP) and a component of the biological-chemical weapon ‘Agent Orange’ is now a fixture of West Eugene’s public spaces, a glaring harm to properties, and substantial risk to residents. Per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): “Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, and can interfere with hormones.”

A Community Effort for Change

Beyond Toxics and thousands of residents of West Eugene have raised the alarm on J.H. Baxter’s pollution for decades, citing noxious smells, illness, discomfort, and respiratory issues among other adverse health effects, including incidence of rare childhood cancer. J.H. Baxter has been cited with over twenty pollution violations in the last 30 years.

Despite laws and environmental protections codified to protect ‘public health and welfare,’ poison on the playground and pollution off the porch have repeatedly threatened residents of West Eugene. Today, nearly 40 Bethel residents wait to find out if their property is marked unsafe for children, unsafe to grow food, unfit for typical use.

Today’s antiquated laws, as codified, allow our state and federal government to permit harm and, functionally, designate sacrifice zones. And unfortunately, absent an injunction from a court or cease-and-desist order from either the DEQ or from the governor, these violations and cited penalties end nothing—to a company like JH Baxter, it’s just a cost of doing business.

Our communities and our regulatory agencies lack the legal tools necessary to hold chronic polluters like JH Baxter accountable to environmental regulations and fiscal responsibilities. A serious reconsideration of our planning, land use, and environmental protections is long overdue.

Proposed Changes In The Works

Beyond Toxics is proposing a series of impactful changes to Eugene’s local government. Top on our list 1) Restructure Land Use Compatibility Statements (LUCS) (a process involved with granting conditional use permits for development); 2) Codify a Public Health Overlay Zone (a new ordinance layering additional protections related to public health and equity to existing zoning regulations); 3) Create a Risk Bond requirement (a bond the polluter most hold to insure against significant risks of environmental and public harm posed by a new development or land use).

Since the inception of Beyond Toxics, we’ve been dedicated to addressing the root causes of toxic pollution. By working to dismantle entrenched and unfair legal loopholes and “perks” for polluters that allow unabated contamination with no accountability we will go a long way in the fight against these root causes. A vital part of that work includes updating land use laws and strengthening environmental regulations. Accomplishing these goals will provide lasting protections for all communities, in perpetuity.

~ Peter Jensen, Environmental Justice Law and Policy Extern and Lisa Arkin, Executive Director

 


City of Eugene Work Sessions

1) Addressing Chronic Toxic Polluters Work Session: Monday May 23 at 5:30 pm
MORE: https://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/View/5448/Tentative-Working-Agenda

TAKE ACTION
Attend the work sessions via video conference

https://www.eugene-or.gov/3360/Webcasts-and-Meeting-Materials

See the "Live Sessions" section on that page to access live webcasts of City Council, Budget Committee or Planning Commission.  The button for meeting that is currently live will be highlighted. Live sessions and recordings of previous meetings can also be accessed via our City of Eugene Public Meetings YouTube channel.

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How Baby Foods Might be Damaging Your Baby's Brain

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As elements with a higher density than water, heavy metals occur naturally in the environment. However, while some are beneficial for our health, such as zinc and iron, others can wreak havoc on our nervous system. Four of the most dangerous heavy metals are arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury [1]. Shockingly, these heavy metals can also be found in baby food intended for children under 36 months who go through a critical period of growth and development [2]. Exposure to these heavy metals by ingestion over a long time can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism [3], mainly if the baby food the child is fed contains chemical pesticides, too.

Recently, a congressional report exposed four major baby food companies in the U.S. for allowing outrageous concentrations of heavy metals in their products. The baby food manufacturers that agreed to partake in the investigation, led by Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, were found to use ingredients exceeding the safe limit of arsenic by 91 times and the maximum limit of lead by 177, and the safe limit of cadmium by 69 times. Because there are no regulations for heavy metals in baby food [4], companies feel encouraged to cut corners by skipping testing for these contaminants and thereby place financial gain over the wellbeing of children.

What exacerbates the extent of toxic exposure among children? In catering to baby food companies, farmers often use hazardous pesticides on their crops to destroy weeds and keep pests at bay. Pesticides can easily contaminate baby food, just like heavy metals, as they are absorbed by the grains, fruits, and vegetables through the leaves and roots. Heavy metals and pesticides act as neurotoxins [5] once inside children's bodies, which means exposure is likely to affect their neurodevelopment.

 

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How Exposure to Heavy Metals and Pesticides Cause Neurodevelopmental Problems

Exposure to heavy metals from baby food has a cumulative impact on the nervous system of children, as they accumulate in their bodies and stay there forever. Children have a higher rate of nutrient uptake by the gastrointestinal tract and undeveloped detoxification systems, making them more prone to neurotoxicity. Because heavy metals and pesticides are neurotoxins, they can easily cross the blood-brain barrier [6] and reach cerebral matter, where they will settle. Researchers have examined the brain tumor samples of patients with neurological disorders and found neurotoxicity and heavy metal poisoning.

Lead was found to take a toll on the nervous system of babies, affecting brain development and function. Currently, roughly 500,000 children between 1 and 5 in America have blood concentrations of lead above the official safe limit [7]. The presence of significant concentrations of lead in children's bodies can cause organ and metabolic abnormalities at the cellular and molecular levels of the nervous system.

The buildup of heavy metals in children's blood will create free radicals [8], which generate oxidative stress. Free radicals are very harmful, as they can cause a wide range of serious diseases, whereas oxidative stress can damage proteins, DNA, and cells [9]. 

Finally, when it comes to pesticides, organophosphates, carbamates, and organochlorine pesticides were scientifically proven to be neurotoxic [10], especially in very young children. Fumigants, which are neurotoxins, too, cause damage to the nervous system by inducing toxicological mechanisms that affect most tissues in the body. In addition to autism, other neurodevelopmental problems exposure to heavy metals and pesticides from baby food can cause are cognitive damage, learning disabilities, conduct disorders, mental retardation, behavioral disorders, vision and hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

 

The Baby Food Safety Act of 2021 Gives Hope to Parents of Infants and Toddlers

Shortly after the congressional report was made public, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi proposed the Baby Food Safety Act [11]. This bill would immediately set baby food's arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury limits. If it becomes effective, the bill would also make it mandatory for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to closely monitor baby food companies and lower the maximum allowable limits for heavy metals even more, if necessary.

The Baby Food Safety Act would also oblige facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold infant and toddler food to enforce specific plans to ensure their products comply with the safe limits on heavy elements. Lastly, the bill would make the Centers for Disease Control run awareness campaigns periodically about the dangers of heavy metals in baby food and children exposed to these neurotoxins.

 

Young beautiful woman with a tablet picks baby food in a supermarket, the girl is studying the composition of the product close-up

About the Author

As CFO at Environmental Litigation Group, Jonathan Sharp is responsible for managing firm assets, collecting and distributing funds, and financial analysis. The law firm, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, specializes in toxic exposure and assists parents whose children developed autism due to tainted baby food.



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Time to celebrate Oregon’s climate action success!

 

Did you hear the BIG news? On December 16th, 2021, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission voted 3-1 in favor of establishing the Department of Environmental Quality’s new Climate Protection Program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels used in Oregon. Beginning in 2022, this program will help secure a healthy climate future, invest in frontline communities, and hold corporate polluters accountable. And while the final program may not be perfect, it sets in motion a massive statewide effort to reduce emissions from the use of transportation fuels and natural gas utilities. The outcome is transitioning Oregon off of fossil fuels and setting an example for other states to follow.

Here are some key highlights from the new program:

  • Science-based emissions reduction targets for oil companies, "natural" gas utilities like Northwest Natural and Avista, and major industrial facilities to cut their climate pollution in half by 2035. This presents opportunities to innovate, propelling Oregon toward a clean energy future.

  • Improved public health and resiliency for communities in Oregon most harmed by burning fossil fuels and climate change. Reducing harmful pollution can save Oregonians billions of dollars annually by avoiding health impacts such as lost workdays to asthma and respiratory effects, to heart attacks and hospital visits, to fatal outcomes.

  • Investments in clean energy projects to support job creation, a strong economy, and cleaner, cheaper, healthier energy and transportation options in communities of color, tribal, low-income, rural and coastal communities across the state.

Powerful Public Engagement 
A whopping 7,600 comments on the Climate Protection Program (CPP) rules were sent to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), exceeding typical comment period totals by thousands. Noting the severity and urgency of the climate emergency we face, over 70% of these comments were in support of adopting strong outcomes for climate, equity, and the environment without delay. 

In response to the tsunami of public comments, the CPP rules were strengthened in the following ways: 

  • The “cap” placed on oil companies and fossil gas utilities to reduce their emissions was made more aggressive to require 50% reduction by 2035 and 90% reduction by 2050. Previous versions of the CPP rules included a reduction of just 45% by 2035 and 80% by 2050.

  • The final program sets emissions targets for major industrial facilities covered by the program to cut their climate pollution in half by 2035. Previous drafts of the CPP rules failed to set mandatory reductions for these emissions sources.

  • The program will fund up to $500 million annually in Community Climate Investment (CCI) projects to support cleaner, cheaper, healthier energy and transportation options in communities of color, tribal, low-income, rural and coastal communities across the state. DEQ strengthened rule language to make it clear these investments would prioritize environmental justice communities.

Calling for Carbon Sequestration
Also, Beyond Toxics took a strong, loud stance to push Oregon to invest in carbon sequestration! In order to truly mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, we know that pulling down atmospheric carbon and storing it in our soils, trees and vegetation, and waters must be prioritized alongside efforts to ratchet back greenhouse gas emissions. This will not only benefit our climate but also result in better soil health, water availability, and air quality.

During the Environmental Quality Commission's (EQC’s) vote to approve the Climate Protection Program, carbon sequestration took the main stage once again. As a result, the Department of Environmental Quality is going to coordinate with the Oregon Global Warming Commission to discuss opportunities to support carbon sequestration in Oregon’s forests, agricultural lands, and wetlands moving forward.

We expect this important discussion to continue at the EQC’s next meeting in early February.

Grit and Gratitude
Public participation throughout the rulemaking process played a major role in improving the final program. Your written comments as well as your presence and voices at public hearings were critical to strengthening the initial rule package developed by DEQ staff. EQC commissioners heard you. You helped make a difference!

As I reflect upon the past year, I find so many reasons to be hopeful. In doing this work, I find great resolve to keep advocating for meaningful climate action. The Climate Protection Program shows how truly powerful public involvement can be to achieve a stable and just climate future. Thank you for contributing to these outcomes.

And while we celebrate this significant progress for the state, we know our work is not done.

One large omission from regulation by the Climate Protection Program is power plants that burn fossil fuels in Oregon and export electricity to other states--that must be fixed! Continued diligent monitoring and engagement will be required to ensure that this program delivers the promised reductions in climate pollution and investments in environmental justice communities.

Our game plan is to continue our efforts to support and encourage public engagement. We must build upon our success to convince state agencies to go farther, think bigger, act faster and adopt the strongest policies.

~ Grace Brahler,
Oregon Climate Action Plan & Policy Manager for Beyond Toxics

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Oregon Department of Forestry’s “Social License” for Aerial Spray Has Expired

 
Photo of Nehalem Bay, Oregon (above) by Don Best

 

Beyond Toxics continues to stand up for Oregon’s forests, watersheds, and communities. Keep reading to see how we’re moving the mark on pesticide use in Oregon’s state forest lands.

Tank Mixes on State Forest Lands

At the September 8, 2021, Board of Forestry meeting, we presented findings to the Board summarizing herbicide applications on Oregon State Forests from January 1, 2020, to August 30, 2021. Bottom line: in that brief 20-month period, 326 tank mixes were applied to state-managed forest lands, over a third of which were aerial sprays. Check out our first report here.

Nehalem Watershed Case Study

For the November 3, 2021, Board of Forestry meeting, we presented a case study of herbicide impacts in the Nehalem Watershed. We sent the Board a set of maps we created using data obtained from FERNS depicting pesticide applications in the Nehalem Watershed from 2015-2021, including Astoria, Tillamook, and Forest Grove Districts.

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Map 1. The Nehalem Watershed

 

The maps that follow take a deeper look at a few “Case Study Areas” outlined in pink. Our goal was to use this case study focused on the headwaters and other stretches of the Nehalem River to help the the Oregon Department of Forestry and the public visualize where pesticide sprays take place, note their close proximity to important fish-bearing streams, and consider related impacts on Oregon’s iconic salmon and trout populations.

Case Study 1: Headwaters of the Nehalem River

This map shows herbicide applications at the headwaters of the Nehalem River. There were 52 acres sprayed within a 500 foot radius of the river, many of which were adjacent to perennial streams that form the Nehalem River headwaters.

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Case Study 2: Lower Third of the Nehalem River

This next map shows part of the lower third of the Nehalem River, which includes the Astoria District. There were 95 acres sprayed within a 500 foot radius of the river. More than two-thirds of sprays closeby were aerial sprays.

 

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Case Study 3: Perennial Streams

ODF requires a no-spray buffer on perennial streams, so the map for Case Study 3 accounts for a 100 foot no-spray buffer. It must be noted that, despite no-spray buffers, chemicals applied may unintentionally enter waterways--especially in the case of aerial applications. A number of factors including weather and site conditions can cause aerially-applied pesticides to drift into unintended areas, including nearby streams. As shown, the overwhelming majority of sprays touching this 100 foot buffer were aerial sprays.

 

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Pesticides and Fish
As shown above, herbicide sprays of chemical tank mixes are occurring throughout the length of the Nehalem River. The Department of Forestry's spray activity starts in the highest reaches of the perennial streams that form the headwaters of the watershed, which may result in a pattern of cumulative residues in the waters and soils of critical aquatic wildlife habitat. Once in the streams, pesticides can affect fish including salmon in many different ways, including by hindering the olfactory system of juvenile salmon, reducing the ability of juvenile salmon to adapt to saline environments, or disrupting swimming and predator avoidance. And in addition to the known effects of single chemicals, tank mixes of pesticides that are used often have not been tested in their combined state so their true toxicity on fish and aquatic organisms remains unknown.

The Nehalem River is the largest “wild fish only” river on the Oregon Coast and home to several runs of salmon, including one of the healthiest runs of Oregon Coast coho. Oregon Coast coho are a federally threatened species of salmon that have key spawning habitat in this basin. Based on the data we have compiled using the FERNS system, the large majority of the Department’s pesticide sprays in the area take place in the summer, so steelhead juveniles will be hit hard because that is when they emerge. Summer Chinook spawn right at the end of the peak spray season, so their egg development may be affected as well. The biggest effects will be on Oregon Coast coho, cutthroat trout, and steelhead, all of which spend one to two years in the Nehalem as juveniles and will thus be exposed to these toxins for longer than other species that migrate downstream immediately, such as chum salmon.

Pesticides and Climate Change
Finally, we cannot ignore the connection between pesticide use and climate change.

The Pacific Northwest has warmed by about 3 degrees F (or 1.7 degrees C) in the past half-century. Higher temperatures create imbalances in natural systems, causing more outbreaks and damage from pests and invasive weeds. This leads to increased reliance on pesticide use as there are more pests to manage. However, pesticides contribute to the climate crisis throughout their manufacture, transport and application.

While all communities deserve protected, clean drinking water, pesticide use has put dwindling drinking water sources at risk. Warming waters may increase pesticide toxicity, making matters worse for climate-stressed fish and other aquatic life. Additionally, studies show pesticides kill over 70% of the microbial diversity in soils. Mature and old growth trees, diverse vegetation, and healthy soils are needed to maximize the carbon sequestration potential of our forests.

Further, as pollinator populations are declining due to climate change, pesticide use causes additional stress. Recent research indicates high bee abundance and diversity in PNW forests. However, pesticide use can degrade pollinator habitat, particularly for ground nesting native bees. Exposure to heavily-used glyphosate can harm the development of a pollinator’s gut microbiome, lowering lifespans and decreasing their ability to withstand pathogens.

Why Does Our Data Matter?
It is crucial that ODF manage state forest lands to support resilient, climate-adapted forests that can withstand disturbances and changing conditions. Board Chair Kelly even called chemical spray “an issue of social license” and we agree; following years of toxic pesticide release that has threatened drinking water and important fish and wildlife habitat, the social license for aerial spray has long since expired. Thus, we will keep asking that the Board place a moratorium on aerial herbicide sprays and initiate an evaluation of the full range of impacts of herbicide sprays--particularly aerial herbicide applications--on state-managed forest lands on drinking water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, essential fish habitat, and community health and wellbeing. Onward!

 

Read our testimony to the Board of Forestry for more details and sources (PDF).

Learn more about all our efforts to advance Resilient Forestry

~ Grace Brahler, Oregon Climate Action Plan & Policy Manager

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Oregonians Expect Bolder Action on Climate

Let’s be honest--the state of the climate emergency can be downright overwhelming and difficult to face day after day. A recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints an especially bleak picture: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.”

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First Foods for Spring

Food is our medicine. Foods not only provide nourishment for our body, they also nourish us emotionally and spiritually. Whether it be root foraging, harvesting wild fruits and nuts, procuring plant fibers for basket weaving, fishing, hunting, or gardening, these practices bond our spirit with the earth and make us feel whole. These practices also keep us connected as families by continuing traditions imperative for our health, livelihoods, and cultural survival.

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Tribal Climate Resilience in the Pacific Northwest

Native American Tribes and First Nations are most at-risk of suffering the devastating effects of climate change. Climate change is no longer a distant threat, but a dangerous force that places our native communities and resources at immediate risk. As with so many threats, indigenous peoples have been at the front lines of the devastation caused by climate change, forced to fight to protect their land, homes, and culture.

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An Apple a Day Brings Pesticides Your Way

Today we’re partnering with Friends of The Earth to help them release a national study revealing unsafe levels of pesticides in commonly purchased grocery store foods, including data from Oregon. During late 2018, Beyond Toxics representatives participated in this research project by shopping at common grocery stores in Oregon, including Costco and Fred Meyer.

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Bee City Eugene - what's next?

By becoming a Bee City, The City of Eugene has formally acknowledged the importance of pollinators to healthy ecosystems and joined the national movement to protect and support our pollinators now and in the future. Bee Cities support collaboration to establish and maintain healthy pollinator habitats within city limits.

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Contact

Lane County Office
120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd.
Suite 280
Eugene, OR 97401

+1 (541) 465-8860

Jackson County Office
312 N. Main St., Suite B
Phoenix, Oregon 97535

+1 (541) 465-8860 ext. 2

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1106
Eugene, OR 97440

Hours
Daily: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

info@beyondtoxics.org

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