State environmental regulators will be taking a close look at the potential health impacts of air pollution from hundreds of industrial facilities around the state, including a number of plants around the mid-valley.
Three industrial sites in the area were on a list released Friday by the Department of Environmental Quality of the first 20 plants selected for risk assessments under the Cleaner Air Oregon initiative.
Entek International LLC in Lebanon, Hollingsworth & Vose Fiber Co. in Corvallis and the Georgia-Pacific pulp mill in Toledo will be evaluated in the first year of the program, DEQ officials announced.
Additional mid-valley sites are targeted for risk assessments over the next two to three years in the program’s second phase. That group of 20 includes Freres Lumber Co. in Lyons and ATI Wah Chang in Millersburg.
DEQ has also identified a lower-priority group of 315 facilities for eventual attention under the program, with no specific timetable attached. Among that third group are as many as two dozen mid-valley industrial plants, including Cascade-Pacific Pulp in Harrisburg, Georgia-Pacific Chemicals in Millersburg, Stahlbush Island Farms near Corvallis and Oregon Freeze Dry, Selmet and Pacific Cast Technologies (ATI Cast Products) in Albany.
The risk assessments are designed to determine what risks, if any, are posed to human health by the air emissions from these industrial plants.
Assessment priorities were determined based on preliminary emissions reports and other factors such as proximity to people, especially vulnerable populations.
The Cleaner Air Oregon initiative, launched by Gov. Kate Brown in 2016 in response to air quality concerns around art glass plants in the Portland area, is aimed at creating health-based air pollution regulations for industrial facilities around the state.