Petition statement to be delivered to The Oregon State House, The Oregon State Senate, and Governor Kate Brown

Hold Oregon DEQ accountable! Keep our air safe

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Hold Oregon DEQ accountable! Keep our air safe

To be delivered to The Oregon State House, The Oregon State Senate, and Governor Kate Brown

Petition Statement

The recent news that the air in parts of Southeast and North Portland contains alarming levels of cadmium and arsenic—elements known to cause cancer—is clear proof that Oregon’s air quality regulations are not working.

There is plenty of evidence that this shocking air pollution in Portland is not an isolated case:
• Oregon has the third largest population at risk of excess cancer due to air pollution, behind only California and New York.
• 117 Oregon schools fall in the worst 10% nationally for exposure to industrial pollution.
• And diesel particulate matter is responsible for approximately 460 premature deaths a year in Oregon. That’s more than those who die from homicide and drunk driving, combined.

* * * * * * * * *

Oregonians deserve to breathe air that does not make them sick. And they deserve a state government that makes that happen.

Tell your Governor and State Legislature that it’s time to hold the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) accountable for protecting Oregonians from dangerous pollutants in our communities.
There are currently 6,126 signatures. NEW goal - We need 7,500 signatures!

Petition Background

Endorsement Update: The Eastside Portland Air Coalition (EPAC) would like to endorse this petition in the interest of getting our message to DEQ and the State as quickly and efficiently as possible. Let’s show Salem how strong our voices are together and send them the message, “WE WANT CLEAN AIR NOW”

On February 3rd, 2016, we woke up to alarming news that the carcinogenic heavy metals Cadmium and Arsenic had been detected at high concentrations in our moss, soil and in the air in SE Portland. The story has continued to unfold and only gets worse from there. More heavy metals in new locations all over Portland have now been identified, and the amount of Portlanders affected continues to grow. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and it should not have been a surprise to anyone. Portland has been polluted for quite a long while.

Like many, we chose one of Portland's idyllic inner neighborhoods to buy our home and raise our family of three boys, ages 7, 5 and 10 months. Sadly, we had no idea that the air around us and soil under our feet could be so toxic.

Our kids, like so many others, have spent countless hours digging in the dirt, making mud pies, rolling in our grass, eating out of urban vegetable gardens and going to our parks. Now, as the weather is starting to warm, all we want to do is take them outside to plant a garden, play basketball and teach our 10 month old what the grass feels like, but we hesitate because we are not sure if it is safe.

Like many Portlanders, my family is not naive to pollution. We live in an urban area, so we know there is likely to be more risk. We are not complacent either. We actively compost, recycle, eat sustainably and locally and we ride our bikes when we can. We do our part as citizens to keep our city green and sustainable. We were, however, naive, and could not have fathomed that the very government agencies and laws put in place to monitor and regulate our precious environment could be so inadequate and inefficient. They are not doing their part, and it is time to hold them accountable. It is time to fix what is broken and make Portland and the rest of Oregon a truly healthy place for our kids to live and grow. Please sign this position and join me so that we can all get back to digging in our dirt and breathing fresh air.

Current petition signers


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