Merkley Pushes EPA Official for Action on Portland Air Contamination

Portland, OR. — Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley pressed the top administration official on air quality during a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meeting for assurances that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would take all necessary steps to provide answers and solutions to residents of Portland, Oregon about the emerging toxic air crisis unfolding there. During the exchange with EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe, Senator Merkley emphasized the need for speedy action to tackle the spiking levels of cadmium and arsenic, and McCabe pledged that the EPA would provide assistance.  

On February 12, Merkley joined Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Earl Blumenauer in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy calling on the agency to act in response to growing concerns of high contamination levels of cadmium and arsenic discovered in moss samples in Portland, which appears to be linked to glass manufacturers. 

To view the full video exchange click here.