Reduce Diesel Pollution and Protect Public Health

Target: Michael Dembrow, Oregon State Senator

Goal: Cut diesel emissions and ensure the air we breathe is safe.

Diesel pollution is a dangerous problem for Oregon citizens. Every year diesel pollution in Oregon causes 460 premature deaths and contributes to a variety of other health problems. The state currently has few diesel regulations, but that may be about to change. State Senator Michael Dembrow is working on creating legislation that would add further restrictions on this hazardous pollutant. Dembrow is facing an uphill battle. He has previously proposed similar legislation only to see it fail to pass. However, if he succeeds, it will be worth the struggle. Urge Dembrow to continue his efforts to make Oregon a healthier state.

Diesel can cause life threatening health issues for those who breathe it in, including lung and heart disease. Studies of occupations where people are continually exposed to diesel exhaust show a 20 to 50 percent increased chance of lung cancer. People with pre-existing breathing conditions and the elderly are especially at risk of damage from diesel pollution. The nationwide mortality rate caused by diesel pollution is in the tens of thousands.

Oregon’s regulations on diesel do not prevent the health issues caused by this pollutant. Oregon currently allows diesel engines to use outdated technology instead of new technology that is 95 percent cleaner. In addition, diesel rigs do not need to pass an emissions test in order to legally drive. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted standards for the sulfur emissions and the engine design of diesel vehicles. However, these standards are useless if no one checks these vehicles for compliance.

Oregon needs increased diesel regulations to ensure the health of its citizens. Call on Senator Dembrow to continue the fight for those regulations.


Dear Senator Dembrow,

Your efforts to increase Oregon’s diesel regulations must continue. As it is, 460 Oregon citizens die prematurely from diesel exposure every year. I realize that you are facing severe opposition to new regulation, the previous pieces of legislation you proposed having failed to pass. However, this regulation is important enough to keep fighting for.

Diesel exposure can create health problems such as lung and heart disease. Evaluations of occupations necessitating prolonged exposure to diesel fumes indicate that workers in these professions are 20 to 50 percent more likely to develop lung cancer. In particular, diesel pollution can cause serious health complications for people with pre-existing breathing conditions and the elderly.

At present, Oregon does not require diesel rigs to pass an emissions test. The EPA has set standards for the engine design and sulfur emissions of diesel vehicles. But how helpful can these standards be if no one checks for compliance?

Oregon needs greater diesel regulation to preserve the health of its citizens. Continue your admirable work and make Oregon a cleaner, safer place to live.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: VroomBroom

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