The Green Energy Institute released A new report titled Deconstructing Diesel: A Law & Policy Roadmap for Reducing Diesel Emissions in the Portland Metropolitan Area which offers a road map for reducing diesel pollution in the Portland metro area.
According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Diesel pollution in the Portland Metropoplitan Area can be more than 10 times higher than the Oregon's healthy air benchmark. Included in this polution is diesel particulate, a known cancer cause, along with many other health problems. Federal laws limit the city’s options for reducing it.
“Under federal law, states and local governments are not allowed to directly regulate the emissions from certain types of motor vehicles,” said report co-author Amelia Schlusser, staff attorney for the Green Energy Institute. “So for Portland to effectively address its diesel pollution problem, it has to come up with novel strategies. It’s time to think a little bit outside the box.”
Schlusser suggests cities and counties should use a legal option under the Clean Air Act called “indirect source rules” to reduce diesel pollution. These rules allow local governments to put pollution limits on permits for construction sites, parking lots, warehouses and rail yards.
“Indirect sources are facilities or properties that attract sources of pollution like trucks, buses, trains or ships,” she said. “Other states and local governments have adopted these types of regulations, and they tend to offer a wide array of options for reducing pollution.”