Business & economy

Major Malheur County employer eyes exit if state’s carbon plan is approved

VALE – One of Malheur County's key employers may shut down its local operations if legislators move ahead with approval of a proposal to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

State Rep. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, told his fellow lawmakers Thursday that EP Minerals, a global producer of diatomaceous rock, would likely depart Malheur County if House Bill 2020, the proposal to limit carbon emissions, becomes law.

EP Minerals, headquartered in Nevada, employs 115 people at its plant east of Vale. The firm has an annual payroll of $5 million. The company is the ninth-largest taxpayer in Malheur County and paid about $161,000 in taxes last year. EP Minerals has an assessed property value of $16 million in the county.

A statement from the company Thursday said its plant west of Vale is “emission-intensive” and the proposed legislation will impact . . .