PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon lawmakers now want the EPA to take immediate action after toxic levels of arsenic and cadmium were found in both Southeast and North Portland.
Lawmakers want updated federal emission standards and improved air quality monitoring. Portland has only one monitoring station — in the Roselawn neighborhood on North Emerson — to detect heavy metals.
That’s more than 6 miles from the hot spot found in Southeast Portland near Bullseye Glass. The glass factory was using cadmium and arsenic in their manufacturing until they voluntarily suspended its use recently.
Dr. Linda George, a professor of environmental sciences at PSU, told KOIN 6 News the city has many more emitters of urban air toxins than just glass companies. They’re all over, so a single monitor can’t even begin to scratch the surface.
Having one air monitor, she said, will “tell you what the air quality is within probably a mile or 2 of that station.”
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said they need more funding to put up more air monitoring stations.