Top 10: Oregon Environmental Council's recent achievements
Top 10: Oregon Environmental Council's achievements in 2012–2013
1. Water will be cleaner
Because of our efforts Oregon established and funded a statewide Pesticide Stewardship Program during the 2013 legislative session, which will reduce pesticide contamination of our watersheds.
2. The market is moving on toxics
We created the Healthy Purchasing Initiative to increase market demand for safer, less toxic products. So far several counties, cities, and large institutions such as Portland State University have signed on to improve their purchasing practices.
3. Chemistry is turning green
The governor signed a green chemistry executive order, designed largely by OEC, that directs state agencies to purchase less toxic products, encourages businesses to use green chemistry principles, and maximizes toxics reduction efforts across the state.
4. The environment has more state dollars
Working closely with the Oregon Conservation Network, we reversed years of budget cuts to protecting the environment. As a result, water quality programs have been restored and the state will protect more water for fish.
5. Alternative transportation is better funded
OEC and transportation allies across Oregon secured a new source of funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. For the first time, these “active transportation” projects can use funding typically reserved for freight transportation.
6. More water will be kept instream
We extended a water management tool that allows irrigators and other water users to lease their rights and return the water instream during the hottest parts of the year when fish need it most.
7. The West is leading on climate
We worked with regional partners to commit West Coast leaders to invest in climate-friendly transportation and infrastructure and put a price on carbon throughout the region. OEC also helped secure the Oregon legislature’s support to examine the best way to structure a carbon tax for carbon pollution.
8. Clean Fuels are closer for Oregon
We led a campaign for the state’s Environmental Quality Commission to adopt the Clean Fuels Program that promotes low-carbon fuels, a more robust local economy, and cleaner air. But we still need to remove the sunset provision through the legislature so the program can be fully implemented.
9. Plant nurseries are more sustainable
We completed our three-year Climate-Friendly Nurseries Project that resulted in a 20% average reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for the participating nurseries—one of Oregon’s largest agricultural exports. This project exemplified how businesses can simultaneously protect the climate and save money.
10. Oregon will protect farmers from GMOs
Thanks to OEC and our partners, the governor publicly committed to enacting a statewide policy by June 2014 that will address contamination issues related to genetically modified organisms and help protect the farming industry from losing access to markets.
Bonus: We’re one of the best places to work
Our staff are extremely dedicated and effective, and for two years in a row, OEC was honored to be named the best nonprofit to work for in Oregon Business’s small nonprofits category.