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Statewide, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has submitted detailed information to Gov. Kate Brown on how it plans to carry out her March 10 executive order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state. In all, DEQ submitted a preliminary report on Cap and Reduce programs, and four other work plans regarding clean fuels, other strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, regulations to reduce methane emissions from landfills, and strategies to reduce food waste. The reports outline the processes DEQ will use beginning later this year for developing rules, policies and strategies to accomplish the governor’s emission reduction goals, which are designed to ensure that Oregon is doing its part to fight climate change. DEQ will be holding virtual workshops and listening sessions on program options over the next six months. Formal rulemaking will begin next year, with final decisions coming to the state Environmental Quality Commission late in 2021.

The reports to the Governor focus on areas where significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved. Combined with actions by other state agencies, these steps represent Oregon’s most comprehensive effort to date to stem the harmful effects of greenhouse gas pollution. The steps include:

• Establishing a Cap and Reduce program, which will establish a regulatory program to require reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in three broad areas: large stationary sources, transportation fuels and other fuels, including natural gas. This preliminary report lays out the legal foundation for the program, initial policy and program considerations, and how DEQ is planning to begin engaging with the public and stakeholders beginning later this year. A final report is due June 30.
• Expanding DEQ’s already successful Clean Fuels Program , which requires the state’s transportation fuel suppliers to provide the people of Oregon with fuels that are less carbon intensive.
• Working with ODOT and other Oregon agencies to implement other strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, including emissions standards for trucks and programs for large employers to help reduce driving.
• Developing ways to capture more methane from Oregon landfills, which are a significant contributor to climate change.
• Reducing avoidable food waste to prevent the environmental burdens of food production, distribution, refrigeration, preparation and final disposal, while also strengthening efforts to recover unavoidable food waste through anaerobic digestion and composting.

Statement from DEQ Director Richard Whitman: “Oregon DEQ is committed to listening to all Oregonians, including community and business leaders, as we develop the specifics of how these programs are going to work. We recognize that Oregon is in the midst of another crisis – the COVID-19 crisis – and DEQ is building those challenges into how we are approaching this effort. At the same time, we also recognize that Oregon and the rest of the world are running out of time to begin bringing greenhouse gas emissions under control. The governor has given us 18 months to get this work done, and we are going to do our very best to deliver a fair, thorough and well-founded set of programs that will put Oregon on the path to doing its part in combatting climate change.”

Links:
Cap and Reduce Preliminary Report
Clean Fuels Work Plan
Landfill Methane Work Plan
Food Waste Work Plan

About The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (https://go.usa.gov/xvunf) protects human health and the environment by controlling air and water pollution, reducing the impacts of manufactured products and cleaning up contaminated properties. DEQ engages the public in decision-making and helps communities solve problems in ways that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

Media Contact:
Harry Esteve, 503-951-3856; esteve.harry@deq.state.or.us

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