Split vote advances Brown's nominees for environmental panel
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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