This bill provides an open-ended directive to the Environmental Quality Commission to create a new program to regulate indirect sources, including the regulation of emissions associated with construction and operation of an indirect source as well as regulating the aggregate emissions from on-road and non-road vehicles and engines. The -1 amendment also authorizes the EQC to establish an “emissions mitigation payment” that indirect sources would be required to pay to allegedly offset their emissions.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
Adding cost to farmers will increase the costs for everyone.
The cost of air quality analysis and permit preparation alone will be prohibitive for small farmers, and substantial delays would also be caused by review requirements. DEQ has acknowledged they would need additional staff and funding for the program, meaning additional fees would either be imposed on businesses or requested from the General Fund. This new program is far more broad – with much greater impacts to the agricultural sector – than the program that was already considered and unanimously rejected by the EQC in January 2020 as unnecessary. This program is intending to target diesel particulate statewide, while diesel particulate is not a concern throughout most areas of the state. Further, our industries act as a net carbon sink, so we are already doing our part to improve air quality and protect the environment.
-1 Directs Environmental Quality Commission (commission) to establish standards for indirect sources of air contamination and adopt rules establishing an indirect source review program to control emissions of air contaminants from or associated with indirect sources of air contamination. Authorizes the commission to adopt rules for implementing indirect source review program, including but not limited to, requiring permits and emissions mitigation payments and notifying the public. Authorizes the commission to establish by rule an emissions mitigation payment to be paid by the owner or operator of an indirect source of air contamination based on the emissions of the indirect source of air contamination that exceed the standards established by the commission. Establishes the Indirect Source Emissions Mitigation Fund in the State Treasury, separate and distinct from the General, consisting of emissions mitigation payments and continuously appropriated to the Department of Environmental Quality for reducing public exposure to air contaminants emitted from mobile sources of air pollution associated with or attracted to indirect sources of air contamination.
Oregon has long regulated indirect sources and DEQ has evaluated more than 400 indirect sources under its indirect sources program. No indirect source has ever been found to cause a violation of air quality standards. Do we need a duplicative program?
This new program has the potential to impose significant new costs on Oregon’s farmers and ranchers at a time that they cannot afford it. 2020 was an extraordinarily difficult year hitting Oregon’s agricultural sector particularly hard, leaving farmers and ranchers facing domestic markets that dried up overnight, crashing export markets, and challenges to adapt on operation to COVID-19 related challenges, including protecting their workforce, significant changes in regulatory requirements, and drastic shifts in the political landscape. These changes resulted in falling prices for many agricultural commodities and increased costs of doing business for Oregon producers.
Please send testimony using the online form through this link -> https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Testimony/HEE?meetingDate=2021-04-07-13-00