Smoke Management 2018 Public Hearings

Comment period deadline: 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, 2018

Beyond Toxics urges our members to submit comments on the Department of Forestry’s plan to amend the Oregon Smoke Management Plan in either Eugene or Medford. The proposed changes would alter state rules to allow more smoke and air pollution from prescribed fires to enter rural and urban communities. These rules are for burning on private and state forest land, including slash burning, broadcast burning and understory burning. For example, if you live near industrial timber land you may experience more smoke intrusions from slash piles that are set on fire on timber land.

If these amendments are adopted, the Environmental Quality Commission will make changes in the Oregon Clean Air Act State Implementation Plan, as a revision to OAR 340-200-0040. Associated with this proposal, DEQ is proposing to submit them to EPA to be incorporated into the federally-approved State Implementation Plan.

An excerpt from comments submitted jointly by Beyond Toxics and Oregon Wild to the Oregon DEQ and Oregon Department of Forestry:

Ecological-based fuel reduction in standing forests can reduce wildfire risk. However, burning slash piles of logging residue is not a tool to reduce wildfire risk. Slash piles and landing piles are situated on clear cuts or timber loading areas. The agencies have not provided evidence that individual slash piles in clear cuts significantly contribute to wildfire. However, the burning of slash piles and landing piles can cause smoke inhalation impacts in nearby residential areas.” | Read the FULL document (PDF)

Sample Talking Points from Beyond Toxics

More information
Information about this rulemaking is on this rulemaking’s web page: Smoke Management 2018 – Public Hearings

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold public hearings on this rulemaking as detailed below. Please join us in attending and lending your support and comments.

SAMPLE COMMENTS

How to comment on this rule-making proposal
DEQ is asking for public comment on the proposed rules. Anyone can submit comments and questions about this rule-making. A person can submit comments through an online web page, by regular mail or at the public hearing.

Comment deadline
DEQ will only consider comments on the proposed rules that DEQ receives by 4 p.m., on September 14th.

Submit comments online: Smoke Management 2018 Comment Page
or
By mail
Oregon DEQ
Attn: Rachel Sakata
700 NE Multnomah St., Suite 600
Portland, OR 97232
or
At hearings this month at the following locations
DEQ invites you to attend one of the public hearings listed below. The presiding hearing officer will provide a brief presentation of the proposal before inviting your spoken or written comment.

August 28th, 7 PM – 8:30 PM
DEQ Office, Willamette Conference Room,
165 East 7th Avenue, Suite 100, Eugene (google map)

August 29th, 7 PM – 8:30 PM
Smullin Health Education Center
2825 E Barnett Rd, Medford (google map)

Teleconference Call-in Number: 888-278-0296
Teleconference Participant ID: 8040259

————————————