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Protesters Want Special Session Over Portland Air Pollution

<p>A few dozen protesters gathered in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square before marching to the nearby Department of Environmental Quality office. They want tighter regulation of industrial air emissions.</p>
<p>A few dozen protesters gathered in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square before marching to the nearby Department of Environmental Quality office. They want tighter regulation of industrial air emissions.</p>

A few dozen Portlanders rallied at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Thursday to demand stronger action against air polluters, in light of recently discovered concentrations of heavy metals.

"Clean air now! Clean air now!" they chanted as they delivered a to the Department of Environmental Quality's downtown Portland office.  

Brown said she'll review the request, but added that legislators helped the air quality cause in the regular session.

"The Legislature approved my request to put aside $2.5 million to fund the clean air program at the Department of Environmental Quality," Brown said.  

DEQ director Dick Pederson has said his agency doesn't need more laws to curtail air emissions. He said the department is planning to draft new rules.

The longtime DEQ head is stepping down later this month for health reasons. Brown said she did not ask him to resign.

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