Some products have fared better than others over Oregon’s 150 years of statehood. When was the last time you sat down to a nice, steaming cup of Dr. Henley’s Oregon Kidney Tea? Or reached for your trusty box of Red Dragon Squirrel and Gopher Poison?
The Ash Grove cement plant in Baker County is the biggest source of airborne mercury in the country, churning out 900,000 tons of cement and emitting about 2,500 pounds of mercury every year. But when the federal Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules last month that would cut the plant’s mercury emissions by 99%, Ash Grove had a surprising defender: Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality.