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Public Comment On J.H. Baxter Cleanup Ends Friday

Department of Environmental Quality

Public comment on a proposal for a Eugene company to bolster cleanup efforts on historic spills, ends Friday. The Department of Environmental Quality wants to mitigate any risk of further contamination.

After a series of investigationsby DEQ dating back to 1981, J.H. Baxter was cited for soil and ground water contamination on their west Eugene property.

Since then the wood treatment facility has taken steps to clean up, now the DEQ is proposing additionalrequirements.

“They’ll be capping some soil on site, they’ll be continuing to monitor groundwater on site, and even when they do that there will be regular inspections and maintenance,” said Katherine Benenati, a DEQ spokeswoman.

In addition capping soil on site, J.H. Baxter could be required to extract and treat groundwater, as well as restrict the use of onsite ground water to industrial use. Katherine Benenati says there are no immediate health risks from onsite contaminates.

After public commenting ends, the DEQ will evaluate their proposal and then decide on a Record of Decision. If the proposal goes through, additional cleanup requirements will go into effect in July. The completion date is dependent on J.H. Baxter. 

Comments can be sent to Program Manager Ann Farris at farris.ann@deq.state.or.us. The public comment ends at 5:00 pm on June 14. 

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.
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