Draft proposals respond to 2020 Climate Emergency Declaration by establishing fees generated from Portland’s largest polluters to accelerate environmental justice initiatives. Public comment period now open.
The City of Portland seeks to reduce the air toxics that harm our community, and move Portland closer to meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals.
The City proposes two solutions to reduce air toxics, and today, opens a public comment period through January 8, 2021.
The proposed solutions would raise roughly $11 million per year to support pollution reduction programs. The City of Portland would invest the revenue in projects and programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve local air quality, and enhance community health and resiliency, particularly for communities most impacted by this pollution: Black, Indigenous and communities of color.
“As with any complex issue, we need to think creatively if we are going to make progress on tackling the climate crisis and our city’s greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “Any robust climate policy needs — and more importantly, benefits — from public engagement, so I look forward to hearing from our communities during this public comment period.”
“I support aggressive action on our climate action goals, particularly air quality. And I support the goal of this proposal,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “Given the importance of ensuring we have the resources we need to act on climate protection, I think we need to take the time to do this right. I believe once people learn about and help shape this proposal — including hospitals, universities, and other businesses — that there will be an opportunity to move forward with broad community support. I look forward to helping Commissioner Hardesty make that happen.”
Proposed Healthy Climate Fee
The Healthy Climate Fee would establish a $25 per-ton fee on GHG emissions from facilities in Portland that report emissions of 2,500 metric tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) per year or greater to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Based on 2019 data, approximately 35 facilities in Portland would be subject to the fee. Covered facilities are primarily industrial plants, hospitals, food production facilities, and higher education campuses. Together, they released about 370,000 metric tons of CO2e in 2019.
Proposed Clean Air Protection Fee
The Clean Air Protection Fee would establish a tiered fee ($15,000/$25,000/$40,000) on facilities that generate substantial hazardous air pollution locally and are therefore required to hold Title V, Simple Air Contaminant Discharge Permits, or Standard Air Contaminant Discharge Permits from the Oregon DEQ. Based on 2019 data, approximately 72 facilities located in Portland hold these specific permits. Permittees range from the largest industrial facilities and fuel terminals to institutional campuses and large commercial facilities with back-up electric power generators.
How to comment on the Clean Air, Healthy Climate Proposals
Visit the project website at www.portland.gov/bps/climate-action/healthy-climate and submit comments by noon on January 8, 2021 in the following ways: