Coalition Urges Oregon Lawmakers to Reduce Air Pollution from Large-scale Dairy Operations

WHAT: A coalition of groups fighting large-scale factory farms in Oregon will host a press conference in support of Oregon Senate Bill (SB) 197 prior to the legislative hearing at the Capitol. SB 197 would require the Environmental Quality Commission to adopt by rule a program for regulating air contaminant emissions from dairy confined animal feeding operations consistent with the recommendations of a 2008 Governor-appointed Task Force on the issue.

SB 197 is supported by Oregon’s leading advocates for family farms, public and environmental health and animal welfare, including Friends of Family Farmers, Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Columbia Riverkeeper, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, Humane Oregon, Food & Water Watch, Center for Food Safety, the Center for Biological Diversity and The Humane Society of the United States.

WHEN: Press conference: 11:30 am-12:00 pm, today (Thursday, March 9, 2017). After the press conference, a public hearing on Senate Bill 197 is scheduled at 1:00 pm, Thursday, March 9, 2017 at the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Hearing Room C at the State Capitol in Salem.

Speakers include: Ivan Maluski, Policy Director Friends of Family Farmers; Kendra Kimbirauskas, former member Oregon Dairy Air Quality Task Force; Scott Beckstead, Senior Oregon Director & Rural Outreach Director of Humane Society of the United States; Julia DeGraw, Senior Northwest Organizer of Food & Water Watch; and Amy van Saun, Legal Fellow, Center for Food Safety.

WHERE: Oregon Capitol, Press Conference Room, Suite 43 in the basement of the capitol building located at 900 Court Street NE, Salem, Oregon.

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF SB 197 FROM COALITION: Senate Bill 197 is a more than reasonable approach to balancing the protection of Oregon’s air quality with maintaining the viability of Oregon’s family dairy farmers. The trend in the industry has been towards bigger operations with greater pollution impacts coupled with a dramatic of loss of family dairy farms. A decade ago, a diverse group of stakeholders all agreed that Oregon needed to get ahead of these air quality issues and that new operations would need to follow the rules. Now, we have a new 30,000 cow mega-dairy proposed for Oregon that will be subject to no air quality rules at all,” said Ivan Maluski, Policy Director Friends of Family Farmers.