Monday, June 22, 2009

Health Care Committee to Form Air Quality Workgroup

Hello Friends,

As I mentioned before, last week was a big week.  You are probably already aware, Representative Mitch Greenlick attended our Town Hall Meeting with DEQ in May.  He followed that up by meeting with Dick Pedersen, director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  It seems that Rep. Greenlick shares our concerns about industrial air pollution and the potential adverse health risks to us and our children. Rep. Greenlick, and three other state representatives:Tina Kotek (D-N/NE Portland), Michael Dembrow (D-NE Portland) and Ben Cannon (D-NE/SE Portland) made a very exciting announcement on Tuesday of last week, the formation of an Air Quality Workgroup within his Health Care Committee.  

It should be noted that the press release cites the "public outcry" from residents concerned about air quality.  Our voices are being heard, and it is important that we keep using them.  Thanks to everyone who has been willing to sign the petition, and send letters.  This is so important in getting the right people's attention on this issue; and I am convinced it will be the crucial component in seeing real change enacted regarding the mitigation of industrial pollution. Read on for the official press release, and please contact Tom Powers ( if you want to participate in the Air Quality Workgroups.  It is very important that we demonstrate our ongoing commitment to this issue by participating fully in this important process.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     Contact: Tom Powers

June 16, 2009                                                                                         (503) 986-1433


Health Care Committee to Form

Air Quality Workgroup


SALEMOre.—Representative Mitch Greenlick (D-NW Portland) today announced the formation of a workgroup of the House Health Care Committee to study the health effects of Portland-area air quality.  Joining Rep. Greenlick, chair of the committee, on the workgroup are Representatives Tina Kotek (D-N/NE Portland), Michael Dembrow (D-NE Portland) and Ben Cannon (D-NE/SE Portland). 


Members of the Health Care Committee are wrapping up the 2009 Legislative Session this month and upon adjournment sine die, each will return home to work on important issues during the interim.  The Portland-area members of the committee decided to form an interim workgroup in response to outcry from residents who have grown uneasy about air conditions in northern Portland.


“I have received many calls and emails from constituents in northwest Portland who are concerned about the negative health effects of poor air quality in the area,” said Rep. Greenlick.  “The workgroup we are forming in the interim will gather comments and input from the public as well as findings from experts in these fields.”


A recent USA Today report concluded that multiple Portland schools rank in the top first or second percentile nationwide among schools with poor air quality.  “We need to change the reality that schools in my district rank first in the nation for being located in communities with very poor air quality,” said Rep. Kotek. “I am eager to work with my colleagues to find solutions as we look into this important issue.”


Representative Dembrow added that many constituents have been contacting his office about air quality in House District 45, which stretches from Irvington to Parkrose.  “Not a week goes by that I don’t hear about someone else from Portland who has developed a respiratory problem.  I look forward to getting to the bottom of this during the interim,” said Rep. Dembrow.


The air quality workgroup is slated to convene for several meetings in the late summer this year in Northwest and North Portlandneighborhoods.  Members of the public are encouraged to attend each meeting.  The committee will announce the setting of each meeting after the close this session.  For more information please please contact Sandy Thiele-Cirka at (503) 986-1286 or




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