Take Action to Reduce Air Pollution in Portland

The City of Portland is considering a new Clean Air Protection Program to reduce industrial pollution and hold polluters accountable for their harm to the community and environment. The program would levy a fee on Portland’s largest stationary sources of air pollution, generating roughly $2 million a year to support air pollution reduction across the City. While the new program is an important first step to begin to hold industrial polluters accountable for their impact, the current proposal does not provide enough revenue to meet the community’s urgent need and lacks sufficient focus on using green strategies for pollution reduction.

A photo of air pollution rising into the air while birds circle nearby.
Photo by Gregory Sotir and CAAT

Take Action

Help strengthen the Clean Air Protection Program by submitting comments by noon on November 19.

See talking points below.

Submit Comment

Portland currently has some of the worst air quality in Oregon, while communities of color and low-income communities face the greatest health impacts due to their close proximity to industrial pollution sources. The negative health impacts from these toxins include respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, developmental impacts and nerve damage. Not only does air pollution exacerbate existing disabilities, it also creates new ones. These are not the only burdens of environmental injustice that these frontline communities currently face, and we must hold polluters accountable for these harms. Not only does air pollution exacerbate existing disabilities, it also creates new ones. Many of these same communities experienced the worst effects of last summer’s extreme heat, which was intensified in part due to the close proximity of paved industrial sites and lack of tree canopy. This is why in addition to increasing the fees on industrial polluters, the policy needs to leverage other City initiatives to prioritize green infrastructure solutions like tree plantings that can provide multiple benefits to frontline communities.  

Talking Points

  • Prioritize funds towards implementation of community-based green infrastructure strategies such as expansion of our urban tree canopy to mitigate harm for frontline communities by buffering them from industrial pollution, while reducing temperatures and filtering air.
  • Implement the Clean Air Protection Program as soon as possible to hold industrial polluters accountable for their harm on frontline communities and the environment.
  • Increase the permit and emissions fees to better meet community needs and dedicate the majority of additional revenue to fund community-based pollution reduction and mitigation solutions.
    • Double emissions fee to $500/ton 
    • Increase Standard Permit fees to $30,000
    • Increase Title V fees to $30,000
  • Consider escalating fees over time to reduce pollution in front-line communities and levy additional fees for non-complying polluters.
  • Include people with disabilities in your recognition of frontline communities.
  • Leverage funding from other City bureaus and coordinate a citywide green infrastructure strategy to build landscape and community resiliency to buffer from the negative effects of pollution and climate change.

Please submit comments today to help strengthen the proposal and ensure that it implements solutions that will benefit the communities who need it most.