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Minority Republicans say their argument is with a plan to shift panel's focus of regulating toxic air pollutants, not with its proposed new majority

SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown's three nominees for a new majority on the Environmental Quality Commission have advanced to a vote of the full Oregon Senate.

But in a 3-2 vote Wednesday by the Senate Rules Committee, minority Republicans served notice they want the Legislature to weigh in on a pending plan for how the commission regulates toxic air pollution from industrial sources.

The shift that a Brown-appointed advisory panel recommends would focus state efforts on cumulative effects of pollutants on public health, rather than the amounts generated by individual plants.

The commission is the policy-making arm of the Department of Environmental Quality, which regulates a variety of pollutants.

The Republicans praised Brown's nominees — a scientist at Oregon State University, a tribal council member who has worked at DEQ, and a retired wood products executive.



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