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Oregon DEQ chief leaving amid air quality controversy
by James Cronin Staff Reporter Portland Business Journal
  Wednesday March 2, 2016 - 2:09 PM
 
Dick Pederson, the long-time director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality,

Dick Pedersen is resigning from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality after a tumultuous month.

The department has been in the public's crosshairs since it was revealed earlier this month DEQ knew cancer-causing chemicals were floating in Portland's air at levels exceeding what the state considers safe, and did nothing.

Bullseye Glass Co., a Southeast Portland manufacturer, was the assumed source of much of the heavy metals pollution, so the company has agreed, voluntarily, to stop using chromium. Another company, Uroboros Glass in North Portland, also said it would stop cadmium and chromium use.

Pedersen, the agency's director since 2008, announced his resignation Tuesday. According to a statement from Gov. Kate Brown's office, his departure will be effective by mid-March. The statement said Pedersen, a DEQ employee since 1996, needs to "tend to immediate health concerns." "Over his many years in state government, Dick has provided steady and dedicated leadership," Gov. Brown said in the statement. "I am grateful for his service to the people of Oregon, and I will miss him as a trusted colleague and friend." But according to The Oregonian, the agency has made little progress in curbing Portland's emissions issues since Pedersen took the helm. Read the full story here. James covers energy, natural resources, manufacturing and sustainable business.

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