CPR’s Dan Rohlf had an op-ed in The Oregonian on Friday, taking the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to task. Faced with news that the nation’s largest emitter of mercury pollution is a cement plant in the state, DEQ moved quickly to…defend the polluter. Rohlf writes:
The biggest mercury polluter in the entire United States is a cement factory in eastern Oregon. This fact has not escaped notice of the state’s environmental watchdog, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The very day the federal government released a disturbing report on mercury’s widespread threat, DEQ officials announced that the agency would work hard to make sure that the cement company could continue to release mercury at a level 60 times greater than new federal emissions limits.
Huh? While it may be hard to believe, the agency that describes its job as “to protect the quality of Oregon’s environment” has decided that the cold cash from one cement plant should trump pollution caps set by the federal government to protect humans and wildlife across the country.
Well worth the read.