Don’t flush ‘em!

When we flush pharmaceuticals down the toilet, some of these drugs end up in our rivers where they can harm fish, wildlife and even humans. For example, fish in the Columbia and Willamette rivers show evidence of exposure to estrogen-like chemicals from birth control pills and other sources, which causes male fish to develop female sex organs—and this could reduce fertility and threaten species’ survival. In April 2016 OPB reported on the problem of prescription meds showing up in our waterways in Don't Flush 'Em! Oregon's Water Not Tested For Pharmaceuticals...

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Greener lawn mowers

Gas-powered lawn mowers are sooo-oo-oo dirty. How dirty are they? So dirty, they can out-pollute a new car by ten. So dirty, they (plus other garden tools) account for 5% of the nation’s total air pollution. So dirty, they’ll expose you directly to levels of pollutants that can cause asthma attacks and raise the risk of cancer and other chronic disease. How can a little engine create such a big mess? It just goes to show you how far clean technology has come for cars and pickup trucks, creating ways to burn fuel completely, avoid evaporation, and control ...

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4 Reasons to Pledge Your YES Vote for Rogue Valley Transit

On May 17, Rogue Valley residents will have the opportunity to support their community by voting for a local transit levy. Local funding rates for Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) haven’t increased in over 30 years, crippling the district’s ability to meet people’s needs. Buses are less frequent, and if you want to take the bus on the weekend or in the evening, tough luck! We can place part of the blame on the fact that Oregon lags far behind other states in supporting the daily operations of its local transit systems. From Basin Transit Service in ...

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What is the biggest challenge we face on water in 2016 and beyond?

In preparation for our May 4th Business Forum on Water, OEC Water Program Director Samantha Murray got a chance to sit down and talk to national expert Robert Glennon about our evolving relationship with water in a changing climate.   SM: How do you think our relationship with water will change in the coming decades? RG: We will have to confront scarcity. At the moment, we Americans are spoiled. When we turn on the taps, out comes a plentiful supply of water for less than we pay for cable television or cell phone service. SM: What is the biggest challenge ...

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When Doves Cry: OEC Remembers Prince

Michael Jackson. David Bowie. Prince. Some of the world's greatest pop icons have passed recently - and each time, it can hurt. We don't necessarily grieve because we know them personally, but we grieve because these artists have helped many of us get to know ourselves. And for many of us at OEC, their music served as the soundtrack for our time as we became environmentalists, advocates, and Oregonians. The most recent passing of Prince particularly hit home. He actively campaigned and supported urban farming, health, and disadvantaged youth - many of the same ...

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Fish Out of Water: Preparing for the next drought on May 4th Forum

It wasn't a pretty sight. Last summer, 250,000 sockeye salmon—half of the entire annual run—died in the Columbia River when drought and high temperatures peaked in July. Farmers ran tight on water, too. Cities and businesses that usually take ample water for granted watched with alarm as reservoir levels dropped. And dropped. No one was prepared. Recent record winter rains have offset many impacts of the 2015 drought—but are we any better prepared now for the next drought? At our May 4 Forum on Business and the Environment, we've invited one of the ...

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Ballot measures to watch

Signature-gathering is happening now to qualify measures for the state-wide November ballot, even as two local ballot measures are up for consideration in May. Here's what's on OEC's radar: In May: Fix Our Streets Portland This spring Portland residents will have the opportunity to fix a long-standing problem: crumbling and unsafe streets and sidewalks. Many Portlanders live in communities where children can't safely walk and bike to their local neighborhood schools and senior citizens can't walk to public transit. Fix Our Streets Portland will raise much-needed ...

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Why anti-immigrant is anti-environment

This spring, you’ll encounter people with clipboards circulating around the state, collecting petition signatures to qualify their measures for the November ballot. We urge you to pledge now to decline to sign the anti-immigrant measures, and urge your friends to do the same. There is no doubt that Oregon is now, and will increasingly become, a state with a diverse population. Today, one in ten Oregonians was born outside of the United States. Latino and Asian Oregonians (born in the U.S. or elsewhere) contribute $15.6 billion in consumer purchasing and employ 40,000 ...

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Health First for Air Quality

If we want to breathe healthy air, Oregon must deal with serious toxic air pollution from a number of sources.

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Another reason for a health-first approach

For those in the know, it's old news that Precision Castparts has a decade-old history of violating laws with air and water pollution. But that's part of the problem: not everyone is in the know. This story makes it clear: Oregon must commit to strong leadership that makes the health of our communities top priority. That means not only enforcing anti-pollution laws, but also seeking stronger solutions when those laws fail to protect our communities. It means not only digging deep to uncover threats to our health, but also keeping communities informed about risks ...

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