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Story by Oregon Herald staff
Published on Saturday March 2, 2019 - 5:56 AM

Twenty companies in Oregon could find themselves facing new limits on air pollution after this year.

The state Department of Environmental Quality on Friday released a list of the first phase of companies it is targeting for in-depth reviews under Cleaner Air Oregon, the state's new program regulating toxic air emissions.

DEQ will analyze each of these 20 companies to determine whether emissions from their facilities pose a risk to human health, and whether the agency needs to revise their air quality permit.

These reviews mark the first concrete step under the program toward limiting air pollution.

"We're very happy that Cleaner Air Oregon is moving from a hypothetical into a real one, where we're talking about real facilities," DEQ Director Richard Whitman said.

DEQ has identified more than 350 facilities for these reviews. The agency hopes to complete around 20 per year. These first 20 facilities were chosen based on several screening factors, including the estimated volume of emissions and the proximity to people and vulnerable populations. Some, such as Precision Castparts Corp. in Portland, have already been the subject of lawsuits and complaints from neighbors.