More Than 40 Years of Achievement
From the inception of the modern environmental movement, the Oregon Environmental Council staff and volunteers have worked across the state to advocate on behalf of all Oregonians. Our notable results have made Oregon a healthier, cleaner place for all of us, and for the generations to come. Below are some of our key achievements.
- OEC founded.
- Passed Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Bill.
- OEC has first full-time environmental advocate and legislative lobbyist working in Salem.
- First conference on statewide Oregon environmental concerns sponsored by OEC.
- Led citizen support that passed Oregon’s bottle bill, the first in the nation.
- OEC is sole environmental group advocating bill to establish a role for the state in energy facility siting. Creation of the Nuclear and Thermal Energy Council puts the state in the driver’s seat with regard to nuclear facility siting.
- Created Oregon’s first recycling hotline.
- Helped pass SB100, Oregon’s land use planning law.
- Secured National Recreation Area protection for Hells Canyon.
- Secured nation’s first ban on certain ozone-depleting chemicals.
- Defeated proposed Days Creek Dam on the South Umpqua River; helped gain wilderness status for French Pete Creek Valley.
- Crater Lake Wilderness Area bill is adopted: established ecologically-based boundary adjustments resulted in additional 22,890 acres to the park and accounted for natural topography in the design of Crater Lake National Park.
- Passed Oregon’s Safe Drinking Water Act.
- Passed Oregon’s law guaranteeing curbside recycling and the first legislation nationally to set pollution standards for wood stoves.
- Created Oregon Superfund Program and the Governor’s Watershed Enhancement Board (GWEB, now known as Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board).
- Passed Oregon Groundwater Protection Act.
- Secured toughest law in the nation regulating cyanide heap-leach mining.
- Secured the nation’s first law requiring state agencies to minimize pesticide use.
- Created “50 Ways to Love Your River” booklet and distributed over 20,000 copies, with over 1 million media “hits” from public service messages in print, radio, animated TV spot.
- Helped launch nation’s first for-profit car sharing firm.
- Passed Pesticide Right to Know Law guaranteeing public access to data about all commercial pesticide use in Oregon. Only the third such law in the nation.
- Passed Mercury Reduction Act, which includes a first-in-the-nation phase out of mercury-containing thermostats and also phases out mercury-containing thermometers, auto switches and novelty products.
- Mercury pilot projects swap over 3,000 switches in cars, increase fluorescent light tube recycling, and reduce mercury pollution from industrial boilers.
- Passed a first-of-its-kind tax incentive for insurance companies to offer Pay-as-You-Drive (per-mile) auto insurance. When available, PAYD insurance will offer drivers more control over driving expenses and provide a strong financial incentive to drive less.
- Secured Environmental Quality Commission adoption of new rules to begin reducing toxic air pollution (diesel, benzene, etc.) after five years of effort. Rules go beyond EPA requirements and are a national model
- Passed legislation banning toxic flame retardants that contaminate women’s breast milk.
- Secured adoption of clean car standards to reduce tailpipe emissions, which will cut global warming pollution from new cars and light duty trucks by an average of 22% by 2012 and 30% by 2016.
- Won national EPA Children’s Environmental Health Excellence Award for our Eco-Healthy Child Care and Tiny Footprints programs that help parents and caregivers reduce children’s exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Passed Climate Change Integration Act which set aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals into statute and established a statewide Global Warming Commission.
- Passed Renewable Fuels Standard to promote the development of local, sustainable biofuels.
- Succeeded in phasing out the Pollution Control Tax Credit, which provided taxpayer money to companies to comply with environmental laws.
- Supported creation of an Oregon Environmental Justice Task Force, which advises state agencies on how to protect all communities from pollution, enact laws equitably and involve traditionally under-represented communities in reviewing agency actions.
- Helped pass Measure 49, a partial fix to Measure 37's rollback of statewide land use planning.
- Launched the Carbon Neutral Challenge for Oregon wineries, with more than 30 wineries participating to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Expanded first-in-the-nation Eco-Healthy Child Care program nationwide.
- Released landmark Pollution in People report, which tested the bodies of 10 Oregon men and women for chemicals, followed by the Price of Pollution report, the state’s first-ever economic assessment of the true costs of environmentally triggered disease in Oregon.
- Passed two bills that will protect Oregon school children from health threats triggered by exposure to diesel bus exhaust and pesticides commonly used in schools.
- Helped pass the strongest ban in the nation on the toxic flame retardant Deca-BDE, adding to our victory in 2005.
- Secured policies that will change the way Oregon plans and builds its transportation system.
- Helped pass legislation setting the stage for all six of Oregon's major urban areas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through advanced transportation and land use planning.
- Helped broker the closure of the Boardman coal-fired power plant—the state’s single largest emitter of greenhouse gases—20 years earlier than originally planned.
- Partnered with 20% of Oregon’s wineries and nurseries to adopt climate-friendly practices and helped establish the first certification program nationwide for carbon reduction in the wine industry.
- Supported legislation that protected children and created green jobs throughout the state through energy efficiency upgrades to schools, creating healthier classrooms and reducing utility costs.
- Released What’s in Your Makeup Bag, a report detailing chemicals of concern in everyday personal care products and the need for toxic chemical reform.
- Supported Multnomah County in its successful local ban on toxic BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups and sports water bottles.
- Drafted and advocated for a Green Chemistry Executive Order to promote safer innovative products, as well as healthy purchasing policies with Multnomah County and the City of Portland.
- Released Making Water Work, a report outlining ways to advance water efficiency in agriculture; more than half of the recommendations were included in Oregon’s first-ever Integrated Water Resources Strategy in 2012.
- Led a successful advocacy successful advocacy effort to secure Oregon Environmental Quality Commission’s adoption of the Clean Fuels Program that promotes low carbon fuels, a homegrown clean economy and cleaner air.
- As state legislators balanced the budget, protected critical environmental programs from unwarranted cuts that would have undermined Oregon’s air, water and natural resource protections.