There’s a big air pollution problem in Oregon coming from the Covanta Marion waste incinerator between Salem and Woodburn, the largest industrial source of air pollution in Marion County. Right now, the state of Oregon is considering renewing a key air quality permit for Covanta Marion and is taking comments until November 18th, 2019. The proposed permit would allow the incinerator to increase their emissions of fine particulate matter, which works its way into the smallest parts of our lungs and leads to inflammation and increased chance of respiratory disease.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is taking public comments on their proposed permit renewal now through November 18th. Your voice matters in highlighting the health impacts of air pollution caused by burning medical and municipal waste including plastics, which fall disproportionately hard on communities of color and low-income residents near the facility. The Covanta Marion waste incinerator is the single largest industrial emitter of Fine Particulate Matter (PM10/2.5), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulfur Dioxides (SO2), and other air toxics in Marion County.
The Covanta Marion facility also emits over 160,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent every year. This makes it Oregon’s 20th largest single emitter of greenhouse gases. With less than 12 years left to halve worldwide carbon emissions to prevent the worst-case scenarios of climate change, we must push our state agencies to stop allowing these big polluters to emit.