PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Environmental activist Erin Brockovich is joining the fight for better air quality in Portland.
Earlier this month, the DEQ found arsenic levels around 150 times the state’s healthy benchmark for ambient air in SE Portland in the area around Bullseye Glass. Cadmium levels were 50 times the legal limit.
Other pollutants were found in spots in NE Portland.
The DEQ’s own fact sheet shows they knew about the elevated levels of the heavy metals as much as 4 years earlier.
Brockovich is joining with Weitz & Luxenberg P.C. to help the residents of Portland with their fight for better air quality.
“I can’t believe that in this day and age companies would knowingly allow their dangerous chemicals to pollute the air. It’s outrageous. We have known for decades the harm these toxic chemicals are capable of causing,” Brockovich said in a statement.
In Portland on Friday, Sen. Jeff Merkley said, “You would absoluetly expect that the DEQ would be transparent in this regard. The public has every right to know what chemicals are being produced in the local environs and I think that has to be addressed.”
Residents of SE Portland rallied earlier this week in Salem during an info session on the air crisis held by the House Committee on Energy and Environment.
The DEQ said in response that they need more money to tackle the problem.
“The request totals $1.5 million and asks for both monitoring and implementation resources,” Dick Pederson with the DEQ told KOIN 6 News last week.
“Portland residents who have been affected by the chemical emissions are invited to contact Weitz & Luxenberg for a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of their legal rights against the parties involved with the toxic chemical emissions,” a statement said.