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Oregon DEQ upset by EPA rollback of air quality rules

Attorney general to join other states in challenge

SALEM, Ore. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recent announcement of its Affordable Clean Energy Rule "is one of Washington D.C.'s biggest pollution rollbacks to date," the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said Friday.

"The rule will interfere with states' ability to protect public health and the environment," the agency said.

"Oregonians have made substantial progress in reducing pollution resulting from our use of electricity, but this federal action will make regional cooperation more difficult," the DEQ stated.

Under the Clean Power Plan, which was repealed as part of the EPA's new rule, Oregon would have worked with other states in the region to find the most cost-efficient ways to reduce power plant emissions.

But the DEQ said that "EPA's new rules relax the standards for power plants and remove the opportunities to find cost savings."

"This unfortunate step underscores the value of the recently signed Oregon Environmental Protection Act. Oregon DEQ will now be developing recommendations to the state Environmental Quality Commission on actions that could offset the federal government's repeal of the Clean Power Plan," said Richard Whitman, director of the Oregon DEQ. 

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced Thursday that the state is joining a coalition of other states that will challenge the new EPA rule. 

Links 
- "Affordable Clean Energy Rule": https://go.usa.gov/xyx7d 
- Oregon Environmental Protection Act: https://go.usa.gov/xyx7w 
- Oregon Attorney General's Statement: https://bit.ly/2ItTmQ5 
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality: https://go.usa.gov/xyx7A 

About Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality 
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 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. 


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