We are lucky to live in such a beautiful area here in the Pacific NW. Unfortunately, we do have smog from polluting industries that obscure that beauty. DEQ and Oregon EQC are attempting to regulate this, but getting pushback from the polluters, who apparently would prefer short-term profits and smogging out the stunning vistas that surround us all here.
CAAT wrote this letter in support of the proposed Regional Haze Rulemaking:
RE: Public Comment on Regional Haze Division 223 Rulemaking
Dear Director Whitman, members of the Environmental Quality Commission, and DEQ staff:
The Cully Air Action Team (CAAT) is an organization of community members from Portland’s Cully neighborhood that focuses on addressing ongoing air pollution and toxicity in the community. CAAT is a part of the Cully Association of Neighbors.
CAAT is writing in support of proposed revised Regional Haze rulemaking. The Cully neighborhood is in the Columbia Slough watershed and is very aware of how airborne industrial pollutants affect the scenic quality Columbia River Gorge and other areas. We are working in our community to increase corporate social responsibility for polluting industries, including the Title V polluter Owens-Brockway at 9710 NE Glass Plant Road.
The Columbia River Gorge is one of the emblematic scenic gems in the Pacific Northwest, if not the entire nation. The historical significance of this area spans not just the last 150 years, but prior centuries of indigenous cultures, and of course stretching all the way back to the Lake Missoula Flood 13,000 years ago, that shaped the region and lay down the silts of the Willamette Valley. The stunning vistas and riverscapes of boulders and geographic features that still draw tourists from around the world to marvel and enjoy the scenic beauty begin with their descent into PDX, adjacent to the Cully neighborhood.
For these reasons, and the more timely ones of a growing eco-tourism economy, the importance of a clean environment for salmon, riparian creatures, and other wildlife, CAAT asks the DEQ and EQC to adopt the proposed revised Regional Haze rules. For the proper caretaking of a viable, rich environment to leave to future generations, DEQ’s and EQC’s commitment to environmental justice must not allow the replication of damages caused by former negligence, or by other entities with less foresight and less commitment. CAAT asks you to adopt the proposed revised Regional Haze rules as written currently, and enforce them vigorously to protect that which we must never take for granted.
Cully Air Action Team