Gov. Kate Brown is promising “sweeping change” from the new state air pollution rule-making process now underway.
The governor spoke at the first meeting of the Cleaner Air Oregon Advisory Committee Tuesday in Portland. The group of two-dozen stakeholders – including government officials, advocates and industry representatives – was chosen to help the state overhaul its current regulations.
Brown launched the Cleaner Air Oregon initiative following revelations of toxic heavy metal air pollution in Portland that went largely undetected by the state’s environmental regulators.
She told the committee that reports of elevated contaminants are concerning, and she wants the new set of rules to ensure physical, environmental and economic health for all Oregonians.
“For the first time, state air quality regulators are working directly with state health experts to develop new air quality rules that incorporate a health risk based approach to regulating industrial air emissions in Oregon,” Brown said. “The Cleaner Air Oregon initiative represents the most sweeping change in Oregon’s environmental regulations in decades.”
The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission is expected to vote on new air pollution rules by the end of next year.
Brown said she’s hoping the state’s new rules, focused on industrial air emissions in Oregon, will “set a national standard” for environmental regulations based on human health risks.