SALEM —Gov. Kate Brown wants to guard against a rollback of federal environmental rules by moving them into state law where the Trump administration couldn’t touch them.
Brown, a Democrat up for reelection next month, proposed legislation Wednesday that would have the state adopt all federal clean air and water standards as of Jan. 19, 2017 — the day before Donald Trump was inaugurated.
“As states, we can take a leadership role in preventing the erosion of core laws that protect our environment,” Brown said in remarks at an event at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry Wednesday.
“Together, states must stand up to the Trump administration’s continuous attacks on our health and environment.”
Brown said that the Trump administration has already scaled back some rules that aim to keep the country’s air and water clean.
The administration has repealed or proposed elimination of about 46 regulations, according to Brown’s office, citing the Harvard Environmental Law Program Regulatory Rollback Tracker.
These include fuel efficiency standards and regulations on mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. Oregon has one such plant.
The Environmental Protection Agency is also considering aspects of rules adopted in 2016 to require reduced emissions from public landfills.
Landfills emit high levels of gases such as methane and carbon dioxide.
Nationally, they are the third-largest source of anthropogenic methane emissions.
Eight state attorneys general, including Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, sued the EPA over the proposed rollback in May “on behalf of (Oregon’s) citizens and residents to protect their health and well-being and to protect natural resources held in trust by the state.”
“It is widely assumed that the next wave of rollbacks will be to core safeguards of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act,” according to Brown’s press release.
“Over the past two years Oregonians have witnessed an unprecedented and aggressive attack on clean air standards, clean water standards, and federal efforts to fight climate change,” Brown said.
“In Oregon, that rollback stops now,” she said.