Get Involved in Cleaner Air Oregon
New Health-Based Regulations for Industrial Air Toxics
The air we breathe in Oregon impacts our health, is a measure of the strength of our environment, and represents the freedom and wide-open spaces we cherish. Oregonians expect to have good air quality in their communities and clean air for current and future generations to breathe.
That’s why Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Environmental Quality are working together to reform our industrial air quality regulations to protect what Oregonians value most—human health, environmental health and economic health. Called Cleaner Air Oregon, this effort is seeking input from Oregonians across the state. It’s a great opportunity to help ensure we have cleaner air, now and for generations.
Why Should You Get Involved?
One of the ways air quality can go down is if industrial facilities use toxic chemicals, metals or other materials, and release some of those materials into the air. This can lead to air pollution and may cause risks for people’s health. Because factories are often located near communities with lower income levels and communities of color, some people are affected more than others.
Oregon’s Industrial Air Quality Regulations Don’t Assess for Health Impacts
Today’s industrial air quality regulations give facilities guidelines on how to operate so they limit the amount of pollutants they put into the air. But those guidelines do not assess for the localized impacts to human health. So they might require a facility to filter the emissions if it’s using a toxic material, but the regulations do not say how much or how little of that material can safely be released into the air.
We have updated scientific information that allows us to develop better standards that reflect human health. The new regulations will cover a range of industries across the state and will address a wide variety of potentially harmful toxics. Cleaner Air Oregon will also look at how the regulations will protect our environment and our local economies and jobs. Washington and California have changed their air quality rules in this way, and it’s working well in those states.
It’s important to know that Cleaner Air Oregon is not happening because businesses and industries are intentionally avoiding responsiblitity. Businesses across Oregon follow the regulations—the problem is that those regulations do not yet take into account localized impacts to human health.
Help our State Create New Regulations to Protect Health, Environment and Business
Cleaner Air Oregon needs input from Oregonians across the state to develop new air quality regulations that reflect all our needs and interests. Your questions, requests and input will go directly to a Regulatory Advisory Committee made up of Oregonians from health, environment, business and other fields, and will help shape the committee’s recommendations on the new regulations.
How Do You Get Involved?
You can learn more and share your ideas in these ways:
- Watch for Cleaner Air Oregon representatives speaking at local meetings this summer and fall. If you’d like to request a speaker at your meeting, contact 971-673-1894.
- Check our calendar for Cleaner Air Oregon representatives speaking at local meetings this summer and fall. If you’d like to request a speaker at your meeting, contact 971-673-1894.
- Follow us on Facebook (@cleanerairoregon) and Twitter (@cleanerairOR) to get updates and invitations to give input
- If you want to know about air quality in your community, you can ask DEQ to show you the permits for local factories and facilities. Contact 971-673-1894 to make a request.
- Attend one of our public policy forums in September and October 2016 to give input on the draft regulations. Forums will be held in Bend, Medford, Pendleton and Portland, and are open to the public. Check our website for details.
- Participate in the public input process as the regulations are finalized. This will happen from May-July 2017. Check our website for details.
- Sign Up For Updates
Thank you for helping ensure cleaner air for Oregonians.