Legislation sets strong environmental protection baseline
SALEM – As the Trump Administration continues to roll back environmental protections, the Oregon House today passed the Oregon Environmental Protection Act.
“Oregonians believe in protecting our clean air and water and preserving the incredible natural beauty our state possesses,” Rep. Ken Helm (D-Beaverton) said. “As the federal government rolls back protections, and polluters seek to exploit our natural resources, this legislation will help ensure that our state is protected now and for future generations.”
The Oregon Environmental Protection Act, House Bill 2250, seeks to ensure a strong baseline standard following the erosion of federal environmental protection standards by the Trump Administration. The legislation tasks the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon Health Authority with using the “baseline federal standard” of Jan. 19, 2017, the final day of the Obama Administration, when assessing environmental law changes that would be less protective of public health, the environment, or natural resources.
“Unlike the federal government, Oregon is refusing to backslide on these issues,” said Rep. Sheri Schouten (D-Beaverton). “With House Bill 2250 Oregon is making a commitment to protect our most vulnerable citizens by continuing to improve our environmental policies.”
Rep. Marty Wilde (D-Central Lane and Linn Counties) said that Oregon has a long history of protecting its natural beauty. However, he said, the fox is in the henhouse when it comes to environmental protections.
“As we work to protect the environment together, fighting climate change, cleaning up pollution, and preserving our water quality, the federal government is trying to tear down the foundation of our work – the laws that protect the Oregon we all love,” Rep. Wilde said. “But we can fight back. We can keep pushing forward, shoring up that foundation they’re trying to tear down.”
Oregon House Democrats are protecting our environment and defending Oregon's natural beauty through policies that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the outdoor recreation we enjoy and the natural resources our state depends on.
The legislation, which passed 39 to 20, now goes to Oregon Senate for consideration.
Press release provided from Oregon House Democrats.