Gov. Brown signs Oregon Environmental Protection Act

Gov. Kate Brown holds a copy of the Oregon Environmental Protection Act, moments after she signed the legislation into law outside of OMSI on May 24, 2019.

Oregon told the nation and the Trump Administration today that the state intends to keep environmental protections, not roll them back.

Gov. Kate Brown signed into law the Oregon Environmental Protection Act, which ensures Oregonian’s will benefit from stricter standards of protection established by the Clean Air Act, Water Pollution Control Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. The Act directs state agencies to ensure pollution levels remains at levels before Jan. 20, 2017, the first day of the current administration.

“This legislation will help preserve the beauty and bounty of Oregon for future generations,” Gov. Brown said. “We, as you know, have a long tradition of being at the forefront of environmental stewardship”

The rollback of environmental laws doesn’t align with the values of Oregonians. What’s at stake for our state?

Packing science advisory committees, like those that set exposure levels to toxic chemicals, with scientists employed by big industry, is one example from OEC’s Climate Program Director Jana Gastellum.

Other examples include: Loopholes that allow truck manufacturers to install old, polluting diesel engines inside new truck bodies to avoid air quality requirements. Further – More pollution could be pumped into our air after withdrawing the Clean Power Plan. add another example?

States need to set stronger standards on toxics, clean transportation, and safe and plentiful water. 
Clean air and clean water matter to all Oregonians, whether urban or rural, rich or poor. It’s not enough to prevent rollbacks, Oregon must move forward, she said.

The Oregon Environmental Protection Act is our line in the sand, but we can’t stop there. Today there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than at any time in human existence.

“We must rapidly accelerate solutions to climate change that transitions us to a thriving clean energy economy.” Gastellum said. “Oregon is showing leadership with programs like the successful clean fuels standards and the soon to be passed Clean Energy Jobs bill that will be Oregon’s most ambitious climate protection act.”

Clean air and clean water matter to all Oregonians, whether urban or rural, rich or poor. The federal Administration’s efforts to undo and rollback environmental laws don’t align with the values of Oregonians.

Addressing climate change is critical to Oregon’s future, said OLCV Conservation Network Director Paige Spence. “The totality of anti-environmental offenses made to benefit special interest is absolutely staggering.”

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