December 21st, 2009 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Multnomah County, Environment, Legislature

After Copenhagen: More Positive News on the Environment


Still nursing a nasty hangover from the disappointing Copenhagen climate summit? After Multnomah County last week added its second solar installation, here's another small pill that may provide a bit of relief.

You may recall our coverage last spring of the Oregon Legislature's successful effort to ban a potentially toxic fire retardant in furniture. Despite hardball efforts by chemical lobbyists to stymie the legislation (including robo-calls posing as concerned firefighters), the Leg made Oregon the third state to ban so-called DecaBDE, following Washington and Maine.

Now, under pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, several companies have agreed to phase out DecaBDE nationwide over a three-year period. EPA assistant administrator Steve Owens announced the move last week.

State Sen. Mark Hass (D-Raleigh Hills), who spearheaded the ban in the Oregon Legislature, hailed the chemical industry's concession as a victory for the states that first stood up to the chemical lobby.

"The delicious irony here is that their biggest argument to legislators was that we should wait for the federal government to act so that everybody's on an even playing field," Hass told WW by email. "This is one more example of why states have to lead."
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