Air Quality

A sub-category of Toxic-Free Environments.


2024 Legislative Session

OEC’s legislative advocacy in the 2024 short session will take key bills over the finish line, secure essential funding for environmental programs, and deliver on our promise to stay vigilant for the health of Oregon’s environment and communities. Our advocacy helps ensure healthy air, thriving communities, clean and plentiful water, and climate resiliency. Our policies harness innovation and create new economic opportunities. They are grounded in preventing harm and advancing fairness. YOU CAN GET INVOLVED: Sign up for our Grassroots Action Information Network ...

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The Right to Refuse Dangerous Work: Another Victory for Worker Safety in a Warming Climate

A farmworker carries berries in a field
As advocates for farmworkers, who endure intense manual labor in hazardous conditions such as pesticides, extreme heat, and smoke, PCUN recognizes SB 907 as a crucial stride towards safeguarding their well-being.

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Clean Cars Are the Future – It’s Time to Update Oregon’s Standards

It is (past) time we break up with oil! Not only do the big changes in the price of gas affect our wallets, but burning fossil fuels is bad for the climate and our health. Oregon has the opportunity to be a leader in the transition to electric vehicles and get on the path to meeting our climate pollution reduction goals by adopting the Advanced Clean Car II Rules. CLIMATE Transportation is the largest climate-polluting sector in Oregon, making up about 40 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions. Over 60 percent of this pollution comes from passenger cars and trucks. As ...

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No time to burn: let’s keep the future of gas short in Oregon 

A sign about NW Natural at the Youth Climate March in 2022 for a Fossil Free Future
By: Nora Apter, the Climate Program Director for Oregon Environmental Council. Greer Ryan, Oregon Clean Buildings Policy Manager with Climate Solutions. When it comes to global warming pollution, we’ve heard a lot about the dangers of too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But did you know that methane, the primary ingredient in so-called “natural” gas, is approximately 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 20 year timeframe? Fossil “natural” gas is far from being the safe, clean product that gas utilities ...

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Getting an electric vehicle just got easier!

a man looking into an engine of a new electric vehicle
Electric vehicles are only becoming more popular and affordable. Though we still need to find ways to drive less, EVs are a great alternative for cleaner mobility.  Thanks to some new policies and state investments, many of them supported by OEC, there are more accessible options today for low carbon transportation.  Transportation is still responsible for nearly 40% of Oregon's greenhouse gas pollution. That means, in order to reach our climate goals, we’re all going to have to both drive less and use less fossil fuels when we do drive. The good news is, this is ...

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Building for a Better Future

Worker building a house outside
Right now, there is an important conversation happening in Oregon, and around the country, about buildings. The buildings in which we live and work are a critical piece of the climate puzzle. They are both vital to reducing climate change causing fossil fuels and our first line of defense against climate harms like extreme heat, wildfire smoke, and air pollution.  Buildings are the second largest–and growing–source of climate pollution in Oregon, responsible for 34 percent of the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to the fossil fuels used for ...

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Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program: Building on past successes to maximize climate, health and economic benefits in Oregon

From the Climate Protection Program to the Clean Truck Rules, Oregon has made significant progress in recent months to tackle climate emissions from our top polluting sector: transportation. Yet, even with these important policy achievements, Oregon is still not on track to meet the level of progress needed or envisioned to achieve our climate goals. While our state has reemerged as a national climate leader, we will need to go bigger and bolder every year to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. If we want to reach our climate goals, we need to be really bold, ...

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Summer isn’t the only time to worry about woodsmoke

As we roll into fall, many people start cleaning out their wood-burning stoves and fireplaces to start heating their homes, or just to get that cozy ambiance. What many people don’t realize is that, when a lot of people are burning wood in their homes, the cumulative effect on air quality can be similar to a wildfire. OEC has been advocating to reduce harmful air pollution from urban wood fires and to provide healthier options for those that rely on woodburning as a primary heat source.   Specifically, OEC has been working closely with Woodsmoke Free Portland and the ...

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Strengthening Oregon’s Climate Protection Program

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is getting closer to finalizing rules for a new Climate Protection Program. Over the past year, DEQ has made a number of positive changes to strengthen the rules; however, a few key policy design features still hang in the balance.  The Climate Protection Program aims to address the effects of climate change by capping and cutting greenhouse gas emissions from Oregon’s top polluting sources: transportation fuels, natural gas, and large industrial emitters. A well-designed Climate Protection Program provides ...

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Centering Frontline Voices: Oregon OSHA Enacts Heat & Smoke Rules

silhouette of person in tractor working a field
In a summer already marked by unprecedented temperatures and a devastating wildfire season, OEC and its partners pressed Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to adopt a health-first standard when it comes to protecting vulnerable workers from climate hazards. As part of EO-20-04 (OCAP), Governor Kate Brown directed Oregon OSHA to develop standards in order to protect frontline workers from excessive heat caused by climate change and wildfire smoke exposure. We know that not everyone is equally impacted by climate change. Frontline essential ...

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