Tuesday, February 24, 2009

T-1 until Salem Transition Initiative for Relocalization launch

Hope to see you there.

For more information, see here.

Great idea -- statewide prescription drug take-backs

The problem is discussed here. Turns out, there's a bill here in Salem that would attack the problem at the state level. So do what the lady says: write your legislators.
We are forwarding a bill in the Oregon Legislature that would put a statewide drug take back program in place. The bill is SB 598 (copy attached). A short summary of the bill is attached also.

If you support this type of program, a letter to your State Senator and State Representative would be great!

Let me know if you have any questions…

Janet Gillaspie - Executive Director
Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies (ACWA)
537 SE Ash Suite 12
Portland, OR 97214
Phone: (503)236-6722
Fax: (503)236-6719
Here's the bill summary:

Oregon Drug Take Back Program – SB 598
Product Stewardship Model for Unwanted and Unused Drugs


Avoidable Poisonings

For the Oregon Poison Center, pharmaceuticals represent the most common category of exposure, resulting in 48% of calls, and represent the most serious poisoning incidents. Between 2000 and 2006, the hospitalization rate for Oregon children from unintended poisonings by drugs, medicines and plants increased 60%;
much can be attributed to prescription medications .

Prescription drug abuse, especially in teens

The number of teens abusing prescription drugs exceeds the number of teens using all other drugs combined, except marijuana and alcohol. Compared to the rest of the nation, Oregon ranks among the top ten states for:

Annual abuse of prescription drugs for all ages (228,000 persons per year);
Past year abuse of prescription drugs by youth 12 to 17 (34,000 persons per year); and,
Past year abuse of prescription stimulants (55,000 persons per year).

Teens get their drugs from friends and family –
not the street corner and not the Internet.

Water quality issues

US Geological Survey and Oregon DEQ water quality sampling indicates that trace amounts of various pharmaceuticals are found in Oregon’s surface water; focused studies have found pharmaceuticals in groundwater. The majority of drugs reach water through excretion.

However, a 2007 study by the Teleosis Institute in California reported that consumers did not use nearly 45 percent of what they were prescribed. Standard wastewater treatment methods are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals or other emerging compounds.

About one-third of the unwanted drugs are from hospice and long term care; these facilities generally flush unwanted medicines since no effective alternatives exist.


Drug manufacturers and distributors that serve Oregon would be required to plan, implement, and pay for a convenient way for Oregonians to dispose of unwanted and unused medicines in an environmentally safe manner.


A broad stakeholder group: started meeting in the fall of 2006 to examine the problem, including: State agencies (DEQ, Health Division, Oregon State Police, Board of Pharmacy), pharmacy owners, hospital pharmacists, local health officials, environmental public interest groups, local governments, pharmaceutical manufacturers, chain drug store owners, drinking water and wastewater utilities
Convening meeting: held in June, 2008 – over 125 attendees; product stewardship concept endorsed.

  • No additional cost to consumers.

  • Use a product stewardship model: manufacturers and distributors that supply drugs in Oregon craft system to recover and properly dispose of unwanted and unused drugs - consistent with past actions by Oregon Legislature.

  • Continues product stewardship type model similar to electronic waste recycling requirements of SB 737.

  • Drug take back programs are specifically mentioned as one toxic reduction tool that local governments should evaluate

  • Need a convenient system for both rural and urban Oregon.

Hear the C.I.T.Y. presentations to City Council

If you couldn't make the meeting last night, you can still make a HUGE contribution to the cause of making Salem a better place with your support for the Chickens in the Yard proposal.

First, you can hear the presentations by selecting Feb. 23, 2009 recording here. (You don't have to listen to the whole thing --- once you start the session playing, it offers you the option of skipping to any agenda item, in this case Public Comment, item 10).

Next, drop a postcard or letter to your city council member asking that the C.I.T.Y. proposal be turned into action. Someone stopped me at the meeting last night and said that they didn't know who their council member was -- if that's you too, you can find out here. A phone call works well too.

The C.I.T.Y. folks did a fine job --- now it's up to us to get the council to overcome the forces of inertia and help bring hens back into Salem.