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LRAPA shifts air toxics monitor to Oakridge

air toxics monitor
File photo
An air toxics monitor like this one has been placed in Oakridge. LRAPA said it will remain there until Dec. 2023.

The air around Oakridge is now being tested for the presence of toxic pollutants.

In early July, the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency moved one of its two air toxics monitors to Oakridge. The idea, said LRAPA spokesperson Travis Knudsen, is to put the monitor in a part of the county that’s susceptible to seasonal wildfire smoke.

“Places like the Oregon Health Authority would appreciate seeing that data to have a better understanding of what is some of the air toxics in wildfire smoke that all Lane County residents and all Oregonians are exposed to during wildfire season,” he said.

Knudsen said the monitor will also measure for the effect of woodstove smoke during the winter. He said it will likely stay in Oakridge for about 18 months before a possible move to Springfield. Prior to being moved to Oakridge, the monitor was located in Amazon Park in Eugene for several years.

A separate air toxics monitor is still in place in an industrial part of West Eugene, with no plans to relocate it.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”