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Healthy Air

Every Oregonian has the right to breathe clean and healthy air in their homes and neighborhoods. Clean and healthy air outdoors means cleaning up soot and smog from transportation, helping people replace polluting wood stoves, protecting people from toxic pollution in our air from industry, and controlling pollution to protect Oregon’s climate.

Oregon’s air has less soot and smog today than a generation ago; but we have more work to do to ensure air stays healthy and safe. Oregon is gaining momentum on climate solutions, and Oregon Environmental Council is committed to keep that momentum rolling. As for toxic air pollution, it’s time to get serious to address today’s dangers and ensure that we prevent health crises in  the future.

Healthy solutions to Oregon’s toxic air pollution problems:

Clean up diesel engines

Diesel exhaust is one very toxic pollutant that has a very effective solution. Today’s new diesel engines can make trucks and construction equipment as much as 95% cleaner. Oregon can save lives and protect the future health of our children by setting emissions standards and investing in a plan to replace old engines or fit them with filters.

Reduce exposure to wood smoke

Ask an Orgonian with asthma and they’ll tell you: wood smoke is no joke. In parts of Oregon, the large number of old wood stoves creates pollution at levels that can harm the heart and lungs and raise the risk of cancer. We are teaming up with public health experts to make it easier for people to stay warm while creating less air pollution.

Take a health-first approach to managing toxic air pollution

What do you care most about: (a) making sure neighborhood air is safe to breathe or (b) making sure every business meets their permitted amount of toxic pollution?

Oregon’s permit system is based on (b). Our state sets standards for pollution control technology without thinking about how one business right next to another might add up to a health hazard. If we switch to a health-based system, Oregon will be required to consider how pollution spreads in the air and what other sources are already releasing air toxics in a neighborhood before issuing a permit.