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Pollution Update 11-19-15

The Center for Public Integrity recently gave the state of Oregon a grade of “F” in its 2015 State Integrity Investigation, which is a “a comprehensive assessment of state government accountability and transparency done in partnership with Global Integrity.” Oregon also received an “F” on the public access to information component of its overall integrity grade, which is consistent with the “F” given to Oregon by the National Freedom of Information Coalition for lack of transparency. These poor rankings for access to information and transparency are also consistent with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ’s) handling of public records requests. DEQ records are the lifeblood of “Pollution Update,” and DEQ has steadily moved in the direction of decreased public access to records in recent years. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum recently convened her Public Records Reform Task Force, which met for the first time on Oct. 29. Not surprisingly, nobody from DEQ showed up.