Are Oregon’s schoolchildren drinking lead-laden water?

Anyone who interacts with a young child can see how quickly they learn. Kids absorb everything around them. But if there is the toxic heavy metal lead in their drinking water, what does that mean for their future? What does it mean for Oregon? As of March 2016, lead has been found in the drinking water of nearly a dozen Oregon Schools, some with levels up to twelve times the maximum amount allowed by current regulations (15 ppb). Just a couple days ago, lead was discovered in the drinking fountains at Beaverton Middle School. We know lead is harmful to children's ...

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Dirty Energy, Dirty Money: Forum on Finance Reform Tours Oregon

We like to think we are special, that we live in a bubble, but Oregon is not immune. Big money is influencing politics and has intersected with environmental policies here in Oregon. Our campaign finance system is broken and that has affected Oregon's efforts to protect our environment (read more about Big Oil money in Oregon's political system here). OEC is excited to support Common Cause's statewide forum to present research findings on Big Oil's influence during Oregon's 2015 state legislative session. Participants will hear from presenters on what it is like to ...

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Press Release: Oregon’s Dirty Diesel Problem

Oregon’s Dirty Diesel Problem New Report from Oregon Environmental Council Shows that Oregon Lags in Efforts to Address a Deadly Pollutant   Portland, OR – May 23, 2016: What’s sooty, smells and causes more premature deaths in Oregon every year than car crashes? Diesel exhaust. According to Dirt on Diesel, a new report released today from the Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon has a diesel problem. Each year diesel exhaust in Oregon causes up to 460 premature deaths, causes up to $274 million in climate damage within the state, and costs Oregonians as ...

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Clean Air Champions

Many community organizations in Oregon have made advancing clean air solutions a top priority and are doing critical work. A number of groups have worked tirelessly to ensure that Oregon decision-makers: understand the effects of diesel on our health hear from marginalized communities where diesel exposure is highest explore solutions that will protect health Diesel fleet upgrade projects have counted on community partners to shepherd the process. Today, these groups are joined by emerging neighborhood-based advocates. OEC applauds the efforts of ...

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Protecting Oregon from Dirty Diesel

Oregon has a diesel problem. Diesel exhaust in Oregon... causes up to 460 premature deaths each year; causes up to $274 million in climate damage annually in Oregon; costs our people as much as $3.5 billion a year in health harm and lost productivity. But the biggest problem is this: Oregon is ignoring the solution.  New engine technology can make heavy duty trucks, construction equipment and other diesel engines run with 90% less pollution, virtually eliminating cancer risk. It's a great investment: diesel engine upgrades can deliver $17 in health ...

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Air toxics: Why new lead findings are a big deal

Governor Kate Brown took strong and decisive action to shut down toxics at the source within hours after she learned about high lead levels in the air near Bullseye Glass on May 19, 2016. The decision shows not only bold leadership to protect health, but a clear understanding of the risks at hand. Shutting down business practices is not a decision to take lightly. But unpredictable levels of toxic heavy metals are not to be taken lightly either—especially when they exceed short-term benchmarks and pose a threat to children's life-long health and cognitive functio...

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Paul Hawken’s Project Drawdown: Mathematics Springs Eternal

Guest Blog Post, David Michael Smith, SAGE Hope doesn’t usually equate with the empiricism of mathematics, but I left a recent lecture by Paul Hawken with a renewed optimism about the future of planet earth after hearing his explanation of Project Drawdown’s “new math” approach to climate change. Hawken, a well-known entrepreneur, author and environmentalist, has been at the leading edge of climate change research for decades. His appearance in Portland, as a Visiting SAGE, was part of a series of speakers brought to town by Senior Advocates for Generational ...

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Smoother Road Ahead: Two Transportation Measures Pass in Oregon

Transit and safe streets will get a boost thanks to the passage of two measures on the May 2016 ballot, making it easier and safer for Oregonians to get around. OEC was proud to endorse both of these measures, and we are celebrating their success! In Southern Oregon, voters said YES to 15-141, which provides funding to restore and expand bus service in Ashland, Medford, Central Point, Jacksonville, Talent, Phoenix and White City. Given that the state of Oregon only contributes 3% to local transit operations (compared with an average state contribution of over 24% ...

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Three Emerging Leaders Remember Outdoor School

Who sits on OEC’s Emerging Leaders Board? Young professionals with a drive to protect the Oregon way of life. And since the late 1950s, Outdoor School has been part of that lifestyle. It used to be that every sixth grader in the state of Oregon spent a week at Outdoor School learning about natural sciences in the best place possible: nature. “Oregon's economy and employment are based on its bountiful natural resources: timber, recreational opportunities, agricultural products, water, wildlife, and minerals. The extent to which Oregon's youngsters learn to underst...

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Water and the Climate Connection: A Scarce Resource we Scarcely Consider

I remember being 20 years old, sitting in a large lecture hall at Lewis & Clark College, hearing my biology professor say, “Someday, the wars of the world will be fought over, for, or from a lack of water.” At the time her statement seemed extreme and paranoid. Fast-forward a decade later to Syria. While many issues led to civil war in Syria, including corrupt leadership, ethnic intolerance, economic inequality and massive population growth, it was drought – the worst drought the region had ever seen – that wrought widespread crop failure and mass ...

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