Air Toxics Pollution

Beyond Toxics is Oregon’s Clean Air Watchdog!

JOIN US on Saturday, Jan. 25th
for our West Eugene Clean Air Community Meeting!

Read “A right to clean air,” the latest blog by Lisa Arkin

Our latest SUCCESSES…
The Lane County Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) has agreed to improve air quality monitoring and community engagement in West Eugene. The changes come in response to a civil rights and environmental justice complaint filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by Beyond Toxics, represented by the non-profit Crag Law Center. The complaint challenged the Lane County agency’s 2013 decision to allow Seneca Sustainable Energy to increase pollution discharges from its West Eugene power plant. | Read the press release (PDF)

Rosboro Lumber in Springfield was just fined $9,000 for excess pollution after LRAPA investigated a complaint we filed.

We watch out for your air in the community as well as at the legislature! Rosboro Lumber has been issued a $9,000 penalty for excess emissions after LRAPA investigated a complaint we filed in July.

  • Resources/News

Read the J.H. Baxter Pollution Stories sent in by West Eugene residents or former residents. Have a story to share? Call us: 541-465-8860 or fill out our online form->>

Researchers warn a common air pollutant is a driver of dementia, even at levels below current EPA standards (By Christopher Ingraham, Wash. Post)

7-3-2018: Air Pollution Is a Leading Cause of Cancer By Kate Kelland and Stephanie Nebehay LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – The air we breathe is laced with cancer-causing substances and is being officially classified as carcinogenic to humans by the World Health Organization.

To report issues or problems with air quality, call the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ):

Main office in Portland
Department of Environmental Quality
700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600
Portland, OR 97232-4100
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 a.m.-5 p.m
Phone: 503-229-5696 | Fax: 503-229-6124
Toll free in Oregon: 800-452-4011
Oregon TTY: 800-735-2900 or 711

Air Quality Advocacy Groups Ask for Governor’s Attention to Cleaner Air policy meetings
Press Release (9/19/16) – PDF | Read the letter here

The finding of arsenic, cadmium and hexavalent chromium in the air of several Portland neighborhoods has put Oregon’s weak air quality rules front and center of the news. Beyond Toxics welcomes your suggestions…grassroots air toxics action is our specialty! Whether its ending field burning or idling, we represent communities with air pollution concerns. Send us a message with your thoughts!

For more about the issue:

Read Lisa Arkin’s blog, “Regulating air for community health – a new concept in Oregon?” and the editorial in Oregonian, “Oregon needs local toxics-reporting laws” by Mary O’Brien and Lisa Arkin

Read Lisa Arkin’s report, “A 5-Point Plan to Protect Public Health from Air Toxics and Improve Permitting and Reporting” (PDF)


SEE LISA ARKIN’S RESPONSE: “Change of Leadership at DEQ Was Needed

March 2, 2016: Statement released by Beyond Toxics Executive Director, Lisa Arkin:

The resignation of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Director Dick Pedersen signals the enormity of the failure of DEQ to meet its responsibility to protect the public from air toxics. Under Division 26, DEQ has had authority to properly regulate toxic air emissions, but chose not to use this authority.

DEQ betrayed the public by failing to use its authority to protect people living near industrial areas,
predominately working class and low-income communities. These are the communities that bear the brunt of air toxics and the inevitable health consequences.

This leadership change is an opportunity for DEQ to renew its course and do the job it is mandated to do: protect people and the environment.

MORE background about the ongoing controversy in Southeast Portland
7 Things You Need To Know About Portland’s Toxic Air Situation (AUDIO)
by Tony Schick OPB/EarthFix | March 3, 2016 | Updated: March 15, 2016 | Portland
Portland’s air pollution crisis is exposed. Now what? (StreetRoots News)
by Emily Green | 10 Mar 2016
Activists want to harness heightened interest in pollution to bring reform to air quality regulations
3rd Portland Company In Toxic Metal Pollution Spotlight by Amelia Templeton OPB | March 2, 2016
Portland Glass Makers’ Fluorine Use Deserves Scrutiny, Experts Say POSTED BY DANIEL FORBES ON SAT, FEB 20, 2016
Why Portland Heavy Metals Pollution Went Undetected For So Long by Cassandra Profita OPB/EarthFix | Feb. 18, 2016
New maps show heavy metal hot spots in two more Portland neighborhoods By Rob Davis | The Oregonian/OregonLive (February 17, 2016)
Important air toxics regulatory lapses and gaps are outlined in this Oregonian opinion piece:
Department of Environmental Quality suffers from key weaknesses (OPINION) By Guest Columnist, Dave Einolf (February 16, 2016)
Governor Kate Brown intervenes in Portland pollution scare
By Rob Davis | The Oregonian/OregonLive – Feb. 15, 2016
Gov. Brown Calls For Soil Testing In Portland Air Pollution Case
by Bryan M. Vance OPB | Feb. 15, 2016Three Oregonian articles from Feb. 12, 2016 Oregonian…

  1. 1) Hexavalent chromium, cancer agent, pulled by two Portland glass manufacturers
    By Rob Davis | The Oregonian/OregonLive – Feb. 12, 2016
    2) Oregon senators: Portland’s toxic air is ‘public health emergency’
    By Rob Davis | The Oregonian/OregonLive – Feb. 12, 2016
    3) Do you live near an arsenic hot spot in Portland? (searchable map)
    By Rob Davis | The Oregonian/OregonLive – Feb. 12, 2016

The alarm over air toxins in southeast Portland – Steve Duin
By Steve Duin | For The Oregonian/OregonLive – February 6, 2016

Authorities investigating potential health risks of exposure to air pollutants found in SE Portland
By Jim Ryan | The Oregonian/OregonLive – February 3, 2016

Won’t you join us in imagining, and working for, a world beyond toxics?

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