Cleaner Air Oregon Rulemaking Update
March 15, 2018
Since the passage of Senate Bill 1541 by the Oregon legislature two weeks ago, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon Health Authority have been working on a revised schedule for implementing of the Cleaner Air Oregon program initiated by Governor Kate Brown. The program will go into effect once the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission adopts rules requiring certain businesses to do the following:
- Report on their emissions of air toxics;
- In cases where emissions of air toxics exceed initial screening levels for potential health risks, conduct more thorough assessments to determine likely health risks to people living nearby; and,
- When health risks exceed certain levels, take steps to reduce those risks.
Over the course of 2017, the agencies worked with technical experts, a rules advisory committee, and the public to develop the program. That effort included the issuance of proposed rules in October of 2017, and extensive public comment on the proposed program in November and December 2017.
With the Oregon legislature’s action, some aspects of the program are now set in law and are not subject to change by the commission. In the near future, the agencies will be issuing revised rules that reflect the legislative action. They will also seek further input from the advisory committee and the public that will be considered along with the public comments submitted last fall. Following public input, we expect that the proposed program will come to the commission late this year for its final consideration. The agencies will then begin the program by working with the highest priority facilities in early 2019.
DEQ and OHA will be providing a more detailed schedule of next steps soon.