Oregon's Air Quality
DEQ Wood Stove Working Group Road Show June 2017
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is holding meetings across the state to discuss and solicit feedback on the initial recommendations of a DEQ-led Woodsmoke Workgroup to address woodsmoke issues in Oregon. The Woodsmoke Workgroup has been exploring new ways to provide assistance to local communities struggling with the risk of violating federal health standards and being designed nonattainment, in addition to looking into options for woodstove changeouts and residential biomass fuel.
For a summary of OHPBA's position, download this PDF: OHPBA Statements DEQ Working Group.pdf
The DEQ is holding meetings throughout the month of June in these areas: Lakeview, Klamath Falls, Medford, La Grande, Pendleton, Prineville, Oakridge, and Portland. For more specific meeting dates and information on the work group, click HERE
Attend one of these meetings to hear the Work Group's recommendations for funding for wood stove changeouts, community education, promotion of biomass fuels, and other programs.
Lakeview: June 7, 2016, 1:00 p.m., Lake County Courthouse, Commissioners Hearing Room; 513 Center St, Lakeview
Klamath Falls: June 7, 2016, 7:00 p.m., Government Center, 2nd Floor Commissioner’s Hearing Room (Room 219), 305 Main Street, Klamath Falls
Medford: June 8, 2016, 10:00 a.m. – noon, Griffin Creek Room, Health and Human Services Building, 140 S Holly St, Medford
La Grande: June 14, 2016, 6-8 p.m, Huber Auditorium, Room 102, Badgley Hall, Eastern Oregon University, La Grande
Pendleton: June 15, 2016, 6:30 p.m., Pendleton City Hall, Community Room, 500 SW Dorion Ave, Pendleton
Prineville: June 21, 2016, 5:00 p.m., City Hall, Council Chambers, 387 NE Third St, Prineville
Oakridge: June 28, 2016, 7p.m., Oakridge High School, Auditorium, 47997 W 1st St, Oakridge
Portland: June 30, 2016, 3 p.m., Beaverton City Library, Room B, 12375 SW 5th, Beaverton
Oregon's Air Quality
Oregon is a diverse state geographically speaking. Our many valley's and mountains are beautiful, but they also create situations that may trap air in times of cold weather inversions.
Since EPA began certifying wood stoves in the early 1990's, Oregon has had several geographic regions that have been on the watch list for EPA's air quality attainment status - so called "PM 2.5" attainment.
Air quality is measured by using scientific air monitors that measure the amount of particulate matter (PM) that is smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter over a 24 hour period. If a region exceeds the government standard, it may be in "non attainment" status.
Areas that are at or near violation of the PM 2.5 standards include:
Klamath Falls: Klamath Falls PM 2.5 Maintenance Plan
Medford and Grants Pass
Hillsboro: Particulate Pollution in WA County, ODEQ report
Hoodriver, Columbia Gorge
Map of Oregon showing these areas: Oregon Air Quality Map.pdf
Look Up Air Quality Reports
To look up air quality in any city in the U.S., click this link: http://www.airnow.gov/
Air Toxics, Residential Wood Burning Survey
Feb 10, 2015, Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality - DEQ report finds Portland region residents’ uncertified woodstove use adds to local air pollution
A third of Portland region residents burn wood in a woodstove or fireplace, and local residents’ use of uncertified wood stoves is adding to local air pollution. Those are two key findings in a recent Oregon Department of Environmental Quality wood burning survey report.
Click HERE to download the entire survey (PDF) released January 2015.
Non Attainment Can Be Costly and Expensive to Communities
In these communities, EVERYONE must do their part to burn clean and obey the woodstove laws. The cost to the community of violating the standard is very high - from increasing medical costs to high cost of using other fuels to heat your home.
If you think you have a right to heat your home with affordable wood heat, think again. If your area violates the standard your right to burn wood may be taken away from you.
The Hearth Products Industry cooperates with many different agencies and community organizations to help improve air quality. The most effective way to reduce particulate pollution is to promote removal of uncertified wood stoves. Oregon pioneered the first Woodstove Changeout in Klamath Falls in the early 1990's. Since then changeout campaigns have been conducted all over the country with great success. Learn more about woodstove changouts.
Also in Oregon, OHPBA helped the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to draft legislation called the "Heat Smart Bill" in 2009. The bill requires all homes that are sold in the state to remove uncertified woodstoves.
Air Quality Government Agencies
Several government agencies keep watch on our air quality:
Air Quality Districts, City and County Contacts
Eugene, Springfield: Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA).
Hillsboro: Peter Brandom: 503-681-6191.
Washington County: Click HERE for more information about Washington County.
Air Quality Non Profits