REMARKS AS PREPARED
April 22, 2016
It is a privilege to be here at Llewellyn [Loo-Whel-In] Elementary, celebrating the 46th Annual National Earth Day Celebration. Thank you to Principal Galeti [Ga-La-Tee] and all of the Llewellyn students, teachers and faculty for welcoming us for this first, school-wide Earth Day Party.
To Alexia Wellon [Well-in] and all the families who helped organized this first, school-wide Earth Day party -- job well done.
Llewellyn is fortunate to have such a supportive community that understands the importance of a healthy, diverse ecosystem. This isn’t just a lesson taught in the classroom. Students are able to get their hands dirty while learning about healthy food through the school’s edible garden. And there are adventures to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, where students get an up-close look at local plants and animals.
I also understand that Mr. Crouser’s [Kroo-sur] fifth grade class that has been hard at work on a new school garden that received an Oregon Green Schools Certification this week for helping to reduce waste. Great work and congratulations on earning that certification your recognition.
Thank you to Senators Wyden and Merkley for being with us today, too. Thank you for your leadership in Congress to project our natural resources and for being champions of a cleaner and greener Oregon.
Oregon has a tradition of conservation and we’ve rightfully earned the reputation as being a leader on carbon emission reductions to address climate change. Still, we know there’s more that can be done to build a healthy and thriving Oregon through responsible environmental stewardship.
That’s why I was pleased to recently announce a new, statewide initiative called Cleaner Air Oregon.
Clean air is fundamental to good health, and state air quality programs must add public health considerations to address hazardous air emissions effectively.
Cleaner Air Oregon creates a new partnership between the Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon Health Authority. This new partnership will-- for the first time in Oregon-- prioritize human health in the regulation of companies using hazardous materials. In toxic hotspots, enhanced screening and monitoring will be conducted to better protect our communities and provide greater accountability.
Cleaner Air Oregon will give Oregonians more tool to protect air quality and public health. Both agencies are ready to get to work, and just yesterday, the Oregon Environmental Commission rolled out the first steps towards implementing this important regulatory reform.
I’d now like to turn it over to Senator Ron Wyden.