© 2022 KLCC

KLCC
136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401
541-463-6000
klcc@klcc.org

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Oregon's Willamette Valley seen from Eugene
NPR for Oregonians
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

State Agency Approves Clean-Up Plan At Eugene Railyards

Flickr_BruceFingerhood.jpg
Bruce Fingerhood
/
Flickr.com

An environmental clean-up plan for Eugene’s railyard has been given the OK from the state.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, it will tackle several decades’ worth of steady pollution.

Since the early 1990s, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has investigated the large rail facility on Bethel Drive. It found groundwater contaminated by solvents, as well as metals and petroleum beneath parts of the River Road and Trainsong neighborhoods.

DEQ_EugeneRailyard_thumb.jpg
Credit Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality
/
Eugene Railyard study area, DEQ.

Jim Glass is a natural resource specialist with the DEQ.  He says the latest plan builds on others done in the previous decade. He adds the most concerning issue for area landowners is possible groundwater ingestion. However…

“We don’t know of anyone that is using wells in this area. Everybody’s on city water, or EWEB actually provides water in this area," Glass tells KLCC. 

"So the concentrations that are there are low enough, that it doesn’t pose any risk for backyard use, watering the vegetables, washing the car, filling up the pool, those kinda of things.”

Union Pacific is taking on the cost of cleaning up the affected part of the Eugene Railyards under the DEQ’s Voluntary Clean-up Program.  A company spokesman declined to say how much this will cost, but cleanup should be done by summer.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
Related Content