Oregon’s environmental regulators are establishing new rules to address fossil fuel pollution, calling it the “Climate Protection Program.” The process was launched by Governor Kate Brown’s climate executive order in 2020 directing state agencies to slash greenhouse gas emissions. But the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (Oregon DEQ) has issued draft rules that fall far short of protecting communities from the impacts of climate-changing pollution.
In coming months, pressure will be building on Oregon DEQ and the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission (EQC oversees DEQ) to address pollution from Oregon’s top greenhouse gas emitters: fracked gas power plants, fracked gas infrastructure, and other industrial polluters.
In their draft rules, Oregon DEQ proposes to exempt Oregon’s top polluters from Oregon’s new greenhouse gas regulation program. This move would place the burdens of pollution on communities near and downwind from these facilities, including fracked gas power plants. DEQ proposes other significant loopholes and flexibility for polluters to avoid stringent controls on climate-changing pollution and the other air pollution that comes with it.
EQC will make a decision on its final new rules in 2021, and they are accepting comments right now at GHGCR2021@deq.state.or.us. Online hearings will be held on September 22 and September 30, 2021.
Join us for a comment-writing workshop on Zoom to prepare for these online hearings and to write written comments to push Oregon DEQ to close the loopholes in their proposed rules and revise their program to hold polluters accountable: https://us02web.zoom.us/…/tZYpc-6trTsqGNJ_CTrZ…