Cleaner Air Oregon

Cleaner Air Oregon Rules and LRAPA Prioritization

 Background

Governor Kate Brown launched the Cleaner Air Oregon rulemaking process in April 2016 after communities around the state raised concerns about their exposure to potentially harmful heavy metals, chemicals and other pollutants from factories and other industrial sources. Oregon's existing rules were based on federal law. These existing rules allowed industrial facilities to release potentially harmful amounts of air toxics, but still operate within legal requirements.

Rule Adoption

The Environmental Quality Commission adopted Cleaner Air Oregon rules in November 2018 to close the regulatory gaps left after the implementation of federal air toxics regulations. Cleaner Air Oregon is a state health risk-based air toxics regulatory program that adds requirements to LRAPA’s and DEQ’s existing air permitting framework.

The Board of Directors for Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) voted 7 to 0 on March 14, 2019 to approve administrative changes to integrate Cleaner Air Oregon rules with existing LRAPA program rules.  Some of the changes to existing rules amend LRAPA’s part of the Oregon Clean Air Act State Implementation Plan (SIP).  The Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) reviewed and approved the LRAPA for inclusion into the SIP at the May 2019 EQC meeting.

For a variety of reasons including scope, detail, public input and technical expertise that went into the creation of the Cleaner Air Oregon program, LRAPA will implement Division 245-Cleaner Air Oregon by reference without any changes.

In addition to closing gaps in existing air quality rules, Cleaner Air Oregon rules will provide the public greater access to air toxics emissions data and create more certainty for regulated facilities in addressing community health concerns.

Next Steps and Prioritization 

LRAPA will implement the program next by working on the ranking to prioritize the call-in for certain existing sources. The list of approximately 80 sources on the list include all permittees with Title V Operating Permits, Standard and Simple Air Contaminant Discharge Permits (ACDPs), along with two chrome plating sources assigned to General ACDPs. The results of the prioritization are expected to be published by August of 2019. The LRAPA prioritization procedure follows the same process DEQ followed which includes a method that considers numerical prioritization values, as well as certain qualitative factors.  Based on these factors, facilities will be places in priority groups or tiers. As facilities are called in, they will perform air toxics risk assessments that will determine the actual estimated risks associated with facility emissions.

More information on LRAPA’s rulemaking to adopt the Cleaner Air Oregon program is available at: http://www.lrapa.org/271/Adopted-Rules

Information on the LRAPA Board of Directors is available at: http://www.lrapa.org/159/Board-of-Directors

Information on DEQ’s Cleaner Air Oregon program including fact sheets is available at: https://www.oregon.gov/deq/aq/cao/Pages/default.aspx

Questions: Please contact LRAPA: 541-736-1056, or send an email to: permitting@lrapa.org