Protecting Our Air

As residents of Eugene’s southwest hills, downwind from Seneca’s biomass power plant, I am pleased to read in your last issue that Beyond Toxics successfully resolved its civil complaint with the EPA (“EPA Supports Neighborhood Facing Toxic Air,” 10/10). It should result in further actions by LRAPA regarding the significant toxic contribution this plant emits and wishes to increase.

The article spoke of the demonstrated adverse health effects Bethel area residents experience. Beyond Toxics has long proclaimed that the many tons of fine particulates significantly contribute to heart and lung disease. I recall LRAPA once stating that the Seneca plant is the largest single contributor of harmful fine particulates in the area.

I consider this a serious matter and our air sheds must be protected. To use it to dispose of biomass waste to generate power is a march to folly and must be prevented. That biomass should never be burned, but should be composted and returned back to the soil from which it came.

As citizens we must take actions to shut down this plant. Solar and wind are far better ways to generate power. I urge EW readers to support the excellent work of Beyond Toxics and join together to revoke any permits that continue to significantly pollute our vital air shed.

Remember, it’s not just our Bethel neighbor’s health that is affected, but all of us in the entire region, who depend upon the same air.

George R. Hermach


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