Don't Use 'Junk' Science to Guide Policy


In October 2019, the state Department of Environmental Quality issued a new air quality permit for the Covanta trash incinerator outside Salem, the 20th largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in Oregon.

DEQ proposed doubling its GHG emission limit. The change did not reflect an actual increase in emissions, rather a new requirement to count a previously uncounted fraction. But the history behind this accounting footnote reveals something worse: a web of manipulated and outdated science spun by corporate interests, often in collusion with regulatory agencies, at the expense of a healthy environment.ed, in need of improvements. Furthermore, the analysis applied to the newer facilities excluded biogenic greenhouse gases and is therefore scientifically outdated. Covanta also cherry-picked its comparisons, neglecting to mention the superior performance of alternatives that maximize re-use and recycling.

Read the full article by Oregon PSR Healthy Climate Action Team member Dr. Patricia Kullberg in the January 2nd, 2020 edition of The Portland Tribune.