At Oregon U.S.
Senator Jeff Merkley’s invitation, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Administrator Michael S. Regan visited Oregon on Thursday, Aug. 11, to see
first-hand how communities in the state are handling climate chaos. Along with
Oregon’s U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Senator Merkley
and Administrator Regan visited a community farm in Gresham to discuss the
impacts of extreme heat, and announced new investments from the Bipartisan
Infrastructure Law that will support toxics reduction in the Columbia

“Oregon is facing
very real impacts from climate chaos. You don’t need to look much farther than
record-setting heat waves and the mega wildfires and droughts. This weekend,
the Senate passed historic investments in the Inflation Reduction Act to
transition to clean energy and create high-quality union jobs while we do it,”
said Merkley, whose Good
Jobs for 21st Century Energy Act
 provided the base for tax
incentives for union jobs in clean energy projects. “Today’s visit shed light
on how community farms are adapting to extreme heat, but they can’t keep up if
we let climate chaos spiral out of control. That’s why bold climate action is
so critical at this juncture in history. This will build on the success of the
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to invest in communities and regions and make a
real impact in addressing climate chaos.” 

“Under the
leadership of President Biden, EPA is taking decisive action to protect public
health and the environment for Oregonians and people across the nation,” said
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Thanks to Senator Merkley’s leadership, we
passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, investing billions in important work
like the restoration of the Columbia River Basin, and we’re poised to make
historic investments to combat the climate crisis through the Inflation
Reduction Act, which will deliver relief to families dealing with the
devastating impacts of our greatest climate challenges.” 

At Mudbone Grown
Farm in Gresham, the leaders discussed the difficulties of farming in a
changing climate, including extreme heat. During the walk through the farm,
Senator Merkley and Administrator Regan observed the farm’s operations and the
importance of planting trees in Metro neighborhoods that need it most to combat
high temperatures. 

At Broughton Beach
in Portland, Administrator Regan, Senators Merkley and Wyden, along with Tribal
and State Leaders, announced a $79 million investment from the Bipartisan
Infrastructure Law to protect and restore the Columbia River Basin. The
announcement includes $6.9 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Clean
Water Act grants to be awarded this year for projects to reduce toxics in fish
and water and address climate impacts in communities throughout the Columbia
River Basin. The work is taking place as part of the federal Columbia River
Basin Restoration Program, which Merkley fought to create. 

“With the Senate
passage of landmark climate legislation only days ago, today’s visit to Oregon
by EPA’s top official is timely to discuss how this groundbreaking response
dovetails with local efforts to reduce the climate crisis’ devastating heat
impact on Oregon,” said Wyden, whose Clean
Energy for America Act
 reforming the tax code to provide
incentives to emissions reductions comprised the linchpin of the Inflation
Reduction Act
. “I’m glad Administrator Regan could see Oregonians’ work
firsthand and gratified that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law I was proud to
support will help reduce toxins in the Columbia River Basin.” 

“I’d like to thank
Administrator Regan for his time in Oregon today to discuss the impacts that
our communities are facing due to the climate crisis,” said Governor Brown.
“Today’s discussions with community members, local government leaders, and
community-based organizations reinforced the need for a collaborative approach
to climate action. But we also need action at the federal level. I’d like to
thank Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden for their work on the Senate passage of
the Inflation Reduction Act—we are one step closer to significant investments
that will further our work to reduce the impacts of climate change.”