March 23, 2017-
Air quality concerns — after revelations about Portland’s glass factories — bee die-offs and longtime worries about the dangers of aerial sprays, are hopefully being addressed via bills introduced into Oregon’s Legislature this session. Lisa Arkin of Eugene-based Beyond Toxics says House Bill 2669, the Community Toxics Reporting Act, would make it possible for cities and counties across Oregon to have programs similar to Eugene’s Toxics Right-to-Know law. The law lets Eugene collect and publicize data on air and water pollution.
If Portland had a Right-to-Know law like Eugene’s, Arkin says, then the city’s population might have found out much earlier about the release of the cadmium and arsenic from art glass factories that made headlines last year. She calls the matter an environmental justice issue and says that the bill would cover more than 1,500 chemicals, which is much more extensive that the 52 chemicals the Department of Environmental Quality currently tracks.