Clean Up J.H. Baxter

Can it get any worse?

I’ve lived in northwest Eugene for three years, three blocks from the J.H. Baxter creosote plant, and the brain numbing smells coming out of that place are not healthy.

I understand DEQ and LRAPA are testing the soils at the edge of the plant for dioxins (dangerous chemicals that were components of Agent Orange), but there is a hell of a lot more that needs to be tested. Why only just the edge? Why not the air, too?

There are people living across the roads, and further out, who are being affected badly.

I realize Baxter has been there for eons, but since the city allowed residential growth around the plant, the city should also make damn sure that the plant is following the most up to date scientific rules that protect us all from these toxins. That’s their job.

Baxter’s been charged a total of $36,000 for violations since 1993. Chump change, actually, and it’s easier to pay the fines than to actually fix the problems. A multi-agency coalition has formed, including interested west Eugene community members, and it is meeting monthly to work out a plan to clean up J.H. Baxter. Contact Beyond Toxics at 541-465-8860 to be included in the email list for the monthly meetings.

West Eugene has been ignored for far too long and it’s time the city paid us some attention. Or is it because this area is mostly low-income with lots of people of color that they ignore us? I hope not.

Robin Bloomgarden