Tell Oregon DEQ to Deny Pollution Increases from Waste Incineration

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.

Take action: Tell Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to deny pollution increases at the Covanta Marion waste incinerator.

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Thanks to Our Amazing Fellow and Volunteers!

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Oregon PSR expresses our tremendous appreciation for three people who substantially advanced our work over the past year.

Madison Arnold-Scerbo (above, left), our previous Program Assistant and Quaker Voluntary Service Fellow, was instrumental in developing our 2019 Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship, working on the passage and implementation of  the Portland Clean Energy Fund, and representing us in a number of community coalitions. We are happy to keep Madison “in the movement,” as she has followed her year-long fellowship with us by joining the Union of Concerned Scientists staff as an Outreach Associate on their nuclear disarmament work. 

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Meet Maria F. Landin, Our New Program Assistant

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We are excited to welcome Maria, who started her one-year fellowship position as a Program Assistant with Oregon PSR through a collaboration with Quaker Voluntary Service in September of this year. She recently graduated from Earlham College, where she majored in Psychology and Sociology/Anthropology. Throughout her life, Maria has been involved with communities that advocate for social justice and equity. She is excited to incorporate her passion for immigrant rights and advocacy for racial and ethnic minorities into her work at Oregon PSR. Maria will be developing our 2020 Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship project, assisting with the work of our Healthy Climate and Peace Programs, and representing us in a variety of community coalitions. Welcome, Maria!

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A Message from Kelly Campbell, Oregon PSR Executive Director

Dear Oregon PSR Supporter,

This has been a year of transition, growth, and transformative partnerships for Oregon PSR. When I look back at the past year, I am proud to see how we’ve strengthened authentic partnership with communities most impacted by the injustices of climate chaos and nuclear weapons. At the same time, we’ve had more elected officials reaching out to us for our input on policy, as well as more health professionals finding a home for their activism within Oregon PSR. In the face of the overwhelming challenges of our times, I am convinced that Oregon PSR has a critical role to play in building movements for a healthy future.

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Growing Our Movement for a Healthy Climate

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As 2019 nears an end, the call for action to address climate change has never felt clearer. Worldwide, July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded. We heard the anguish of storm-battered island communities and despaired as huge sections of Brazilian rainforest — the lungs of our earth —burned at the hands of a far-right regime. Southern Oregonians and Southwest Washingtonians live with the frightening possibility of massive fracked gas projects in their communities. In response to these and other threats to our climate, tens of thousands took to the streets in September as young people throughout our region joined Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg in striking for a livable future for all.

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Report: Closing Columbia Generating Station Must Happen Within 5 to 15 Years

Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility has released a fifteen-page report outlining the reasons why the Columbia Generating Station (CGS) nuclear power plant on the banks of the Columbia River in Eastern Washington must have a plan for decommissioning within the next 5 to 15 years. The CGS is a 35-year-old General Electric boiling water reactor similar to the one that melted down in Fukushima, Japan in 2011. Nuclear reactors of this type have never operated for longer than 50 years, and as reactors get older, the chances rise of a failure due to wear-out as well as increased costs from maintenance needs as parts get older and require replacement and repair.

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2020 Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship Open for Submissions

It is with great pleasure that Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility announces our twelfth annual Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship. Any 11th or 12th grade Oregon high school student may enter by submitting an original essay, poem, or narrative work (maximum 600 words) in response to the following question: "How would an effective movement for climate justice benefit immigrant communities?"

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Vote for Bull Run Watershed Protections and Nature for All this November 5th

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Did you know that many counties in Oregon will be having a special election on November 5th, 2019? Even though this isn’t a major election year, local ballot measures can make a big difference for public health and deserve your attention. Please register to vote or confirm/update your Oregon voter registration by midnight tonight (Tuesday, October 15th) to ensure that you receive your ballot and can make your voice heard.

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Oregon and Washington PSR Staff Highlight the Power of Coalition Work

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Oregon PSR's Kelly Campbell (left) and Washington PSR's Carly Brook (right)

Coalition work is a vital part of PSR and PSR chapters’ efforts to connect our core work on nuclear weapons issues to broader social justice issues and social justice work in communities around the country.

PSR spoke with two key coordinators of coalition work from Oregon PSR and from Washington PSR, who each shared their insights into the importance and value of their engagement with coalitions, what they hope will result from that engagement, the specific projects they’ve worked on with coalitions, and the ways that justice forms a component of their work.

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Portland Activists Won't Let City Council Forget About Zenith

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For Lluvia Merello, the decision to protest a crude oil train terminal in Northwest Portland is a simple one.

“If we do nothing, then it’s like we’re agreeing,” said Merello, who is an energy justice organizer with Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. “So for me personally, it’s about being able to say again and again, ‘We’re not okay with this in our community.’”

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