what we do
We empower Oregonians with information and tools to ensure everyone breathes clean air.
Neighbors for Clean Air organizes multi-pronged campaigns to counter some of the most severe threats to our air quality.
Multnomah County is in the top 5 counties in terms of of diesel pollution in the nation. The majority of this pollution, 65%, is caused by out of date construction and off-road equipment. We’re combining science, policy and organizing to improve our air, prevent climate change and confront environmental racism. We’re pushing for greater regulation and programs that will promote the adoption of newer, cleaner technologies. We’re using the following tools:
- Mapping Tool – We’ve developed an interactive mapping tool where you can see the sites of construction in your neighborhood, places where unregulated construction vehicles may be polluting your air.
- Clean Air Handbook – Coming soon, we will be publishing a handbook that offers members of our community a step-by-step guide to make a difference through the Clean Air Act and with local and state agencies.
- Community Outreach: We’ll be taking these tools to organizations all throughout the city – neighborhood associations, culturally-specific groups, elected bodies and more.
BREATHE Oregon is a collaboration between Neighbors for Clean Air, the Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC), the Green Energy Institute (GEI), and research scientists at Portland State University. Together, we join forces to identify best practices in reducing air pollution. Breathe Oregon leverages science and policy research to engage communities in advocacy to reduce adverse human health risks from air pollution.
We center, mobilize and organize the voices of communities to ensure solutions are informed by authentic lived experience.
Good Neighbor Agreements
A Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA) is a cooperative agreement in the form of a binding contract between a company and a neighborhood (community) that works to address specific issues of concern in a collaborative way. GNAs encourage better communication between industry and its neighbors, and are commonly used by community groups to mitigate negative health and environmental impacts associated with polluting industries. GNAs are often negotiated when regulations fall short to protect the health and well being of communities. Neighbors for Clean Air has been instrumental in brokering three GNAs, helping frustrated communities negotiate directly with their polluting neighbors.
Oregon Just Transition Alliance
The Oregon Just Transition Alliance Air Quality Work Group is a coalition of organizations committed to environmental justice working to reduce diesel emissions, particularly in the most impacted communities. Priorities include leveraging local municipal actions such as the 2019 City of Portland and Multnomah County Clean Contracting Standards, prioritizing the allocation of VW settlement money to ensure the most benefit to populations most impacted by diesel pollution, and ensuring all statewide publicly funded infrastructure projects adhere to clean diesel contracting standards.
Neighbors for Clean Air partners in the Air Quality Work Group include:
OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
The most harmful air pollution in Oregon remains essentially unregulated. NCA is dedicated to establishing strong health-based standards for sources of hazardous air contaminants.
Cleaner Air Oregon
Neighbors for Clean Air led a broad coalition of partners to achieve the most significant advancement in air quality management in Oregon in over two decades: the creation, adoption and implementation of the Governor’s Cleaner Air Oregon program. CAO, one of the nation’s only air programs using health-based criteria and risk assessments, will close regulatory gaps that have allowed for multiple pollutants in our air.
CAO started because of the voices of people like you were heard. We spoke out when, in 2016, the US Forest Service released data about high concentrations of industrial heavy metals found in moss collected across the region. When the Oregon DEQ announced that twenty of the state’s largest and potentially most dangerous polluters would be subject to the new CAO rules starting in January 2019, this marked a huge turning point for Oregon to move aggressively to enforce health-based standards in its air program.
Ten years ago no one was talking about air pollution. We have dedicated the last ten years to creating a compelling story about air quality issues in Oregon.
Because of our expertise and history of success, we are often in the media. See below for some recent news!
Links to Recent Media