Official: Substance at Oregon tax agency building not harmful

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter



SALEM, Ore. — Employees have been allowed back into the Oregon Department of Revenue building after authorities determined a suspicious powdery substance was not harmful.

Oregon State Police Lt. Mike Peterson says investigators aren’t sure yet what the substance was but they’ve confirmed it wasn’t hazardous or toxic. The substance was found Wednesday morning in an envelope in the agency’s mail room.

Authorities said the substance had a consistency similar to a “protein powder shake.”

The first floor of the agency’s Salem office was evacuated, but employees on other floors were allowed into their workspaces.

Seven people in the immediate area were isolated and monitored, but none showed signs of illness or distress. They have been allowed to return to work.

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