Oregon ranks 17th in the nation for release of cancer causing chemicals, with 22,630 pounds of carcinogenic toxics released into Oregon’s waterways in 2012. The chemicals include formaldehyde, which causes cancer, and developmental toxins such as lead and lead compounds, which can affect the way children grow, learn and behave.
Industrial facilities dumped 1,290,750 pounds of toxic chemicals into Oregon’s waterways in 2012, making Oregon’s waterways 33rd worst in the nation.
The statistics are from a new report by Environment Oregon Research and Policy Center and are based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Toxics Release Inventory for 2012, the most recent year for which data is available.
Environment Oregon’s report recommends several steps to curb the damage of toxic pollution, including requiring industry to switch to safer compounds.
As a result of court cases brought by polluters, 61,000 miles of streams in Oregon and 1.8 million Oregonian’s drinking water are currently under-protected under the federal Clean Water Act. This spring the EPA finally proposed a rule to close the loopholes that have left Oregon’s waterways at risk and restore Clean Water Act protections.
Environment Oregon’s report comes as the Environmental Protection Agency considers a new rule to restore Clean Water Act protections to thousands of waterways in Oregon and across the nation.