Oregon needs to regulate dairy air emissions in our state.
Let Oregon Environmental Quality Commission know you agree!
Massive dairy factory farms, known as mega-dairies, produce enormous amounts of heat-trapping gases that are warming the planet and fueling Oregon’s historic drought and wildfires. In Oregon alone, mega-dairies are responsible for spewing more than 17 million kilograms of planet-warming methane gas every year — equivalent to the yearly emissions from driving 318,000 passenger cars. There are currently no air regulations to keep these industrial polluters in check. For over a decade, DEQ has failed to set rules regulating air emissions from large dairy confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Now, Beyond toxics is part of a coalition of 22 co-petitioners who are advocating for change.
Why Beyond Toxics is involved
* Health impacts. Large dairy factory farms emit ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and particulate matter, all of which can cause chronic respiratory disease and even death. Air emissions from livestock production are responsible for 12,400 deaths per year. More deaths than caused by coal-fired power plant pollution.
* Environmental justice impacts. These air emissions disproportionately impact vulnerable communities. Over one third of Oregon's dairy cows are confined in Morrow and Umatilla Counties, which have the state’s highest percentage of Latinx residents. The communities surrounding these factory farms are also low-income.
* Climate impacts. Large dairy factory farms in Oregon produce a vast amount of planet-warming methane gas. In Oregon, agriculture is the leading source of methane emissions, and animal agriculture is responsible for over 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent every year.
Oregon lawmakers have long known the threat air pollution emitted by large dairy factory farms poses - in fact, a state-convened task force recommended Oregon take immediate steps to curb dairy air pollution as far back as 2008. Despite the urgent recommendation to act, large dairy factory farm air pollution remains virtually unregulated.
This is unacceptable. Everyone deserves clean air and large dairy factory farms must be held responsible for their air pollution. Please prioritize the health of Oregonians and our environment over the profits of factory farms by granting the dairy air emission petition.
Air Pollution Public Notice:
DEQ Requests Comments on Petition to Promulgate Dairy Air Emissions Regulatory Program (PDF)
HOW TO COMMENT
Before sending in your comments, please read the Public Notice, which includes a copy of the petition and proposed rules.
Submit your comment via email to the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission:
Comments also may be mailed to:
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
700 NE Multnomah St.
Portland, OR 97232
Comments must be received by 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 23rd.