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City Club of Eugene: Should We Worry About Heavy Metals in Eugene's Air & Water?

Recorded on: November 4, 2016

Air Date: November 7, 2016

Are we at risk for metal contamination in our local air and water? Heavy metals from glass foundries have been found in Portland’s air and lead has been found in many school water fountains throughout Oregon including Eugene. Merlyn Hough, Director of Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) and Brad Taylor, Water Operations Manager for Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) will speak about the situation in the Eugene metropolitan area.

Merlyn Hough will speak to the following questions on air quality:

  • What are the air toxics issues in Portland and how were they identified?
  • What is being done to address them?
  • Are there similar problems in Eugene and Lane County?
  • What can be done to reduce air toxics and exposure to them?

Brad Taylor will speak about water quality and the protections in place locally that guarantee delivery of fresh, high quality water to local customers:

  • What was the source of lead found in our local schools?
  • What can be done to reduce exposure to lead or other contaminates in drinking water?
  • How does EWEB ensure there is no contamination in local drinking water supplies?

Merlyn Hough is Director of the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA). Merlyn has B.S. and M.S. degrees from Oregon State University and the University of Portland. He is a Trustee of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists and a Fellow of the Air & Waste Management Association. Merlyn was the 2012 International President of the Air & Waste Management Association.  He currently serves as the 2016 Past-President of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA).
Merlyn also serves as Co-Chair of the NACAA Agriculture Committee and was recently appointed to a two-year (2016-2018) term on the USDA Agricultural Air Quality Task Force.

Merlyn and his wife Martha have five children and six grandchildren. The family enjoys running, walking and cycling on the paths around Eugene, and fly fishing the streams and lakes of Oregon.

Brad is Water Operations Manager for Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB). Brad has a BS in Civil Engineering from Humboldt State University and has over 20 years experience in water utility management. At EWEB he is responsible for overall direction of the daily operation of providing drinking water to the City of Eugene and surrounding areas. He recently completed a 2-year term as Trustee for the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association.  Brad and his wife Clare have two children. The family enjoys many outdoor activities, including visiting covered bridges throughout Oregon.

copyright, KLCC 2016

Born and raised in Eugene, Anni started at KLCC in 2000 as a reporter and co-host of Northwest Passage. After graduating from the University of Oregon, Anni moved to New York City. She worked in education for several years before returning to her true love, journalism. Anni co-founded and co-hosted Dailysonic, a narrative-based news podcast. She interned at WNYC's On The Media, then becoming WNYC's assistant producer of Morning Edition.
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