Environmentalists are continuing their pressure tactics on Salem lawmakers with an initiative petition that would close loopholes around pollution and get rid of state restrictions that prevent local jurisdictions from requiring the disclosure of information on toxic emissions.
“2020 must be the year that lawmakers stand up to polluters and pass significant climate change legislation, or we will move forward with a measure to bring total transparency for toxic pollution and close the loopholes that allow arsenic, mercury, lead and other toxics to flow into our air, water and soil,” says Doug Moore, executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, who is one of the chief petitions for the possible measure.
Initiative Petition 56 would lower the threshold for state regulation on cancer-causing emissions.
A 2018 law, passed after the discovery of cadmium and arsenic emissions from Portland's Bullseye Glass, watered down standards that regulators had been considering as part of the Cleaner Air Oregon initiative.
Environmentalists at the time objected to those compromises with industry. Companies argued that the regulation would provide clean air while still ensuring they could do business.
The Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Beyond Toxics, PCUN, Oregon Environmental Council, NAACP Eugene/Springfield, Union of Concerned Scientists among others have endorsed the measure, which supporters are calling the Toxics Reduction and Right to Know Act.
The coalition of groups, called Oregonians for Clean Air, have already filed other initiative petitions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.