Coddling Polluters

Apparently the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) is not interested in educating or notifying the public regarding the renewal of pollution permits for Lane County’s largest polluting facilities, International Paper and Kingsford Briquettes of Springfield.

The expiring emission permits allow these facilities to spew more than 2,300 tons of particulates, 1,600 tons of sulfur dioxide and 530,000 tons of greenhouse gasses into our air shed every year.

We’ve requested LRAPA to hold public informational meetings regarding the amount, health impacts and which measures can be taken to reduce pollutants. Instead of welcoming public participation, however, LRAPA hides behind thousands of pages of documents, loopholes and agency-speak. 

Oregon law does not currently require Title V emission permit holders to reduce pollutants unless they propose increasing emissions. Multinational corporations abetted by Oregon DEQ have abused this loophole for decades while Oregonians are granted asthma, cancer and death. 

In 2019 Oregon DEQ and LRAPA will be implementing the new Cleaner Oregon Air Act. However, this proposed law does not mandate existing facilities reduce toxic pollutants.

It appears Oregon DEQ and Oregon legislators’ only goal is to shield corporate polluters and avoid their tax-payer funded duties to protect Oregonians’ health. 

Shannon Wilson