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J.H. Baxter


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality required J.H. Baxter & Co., owner of a wood treatment facility in Eugene, to collect soil samples in nearby residential yards to determine if contaminants from the facility have accumulated in the neighborhood. The company stopped wood treating activities in early 2022 and said it did not have the ability to pay for additional work. DEQ's contractor and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have identified seven homes needing cleanup as soon as possible due to concerning levels of dioxins. Yard cleanups are set to take place as early as possible in fall 2023. DEQ wants to make sure that all contaminated soil is removed and replaced with clean soil in these seven yards.

The EPA sampled 22 yards and identified a number of additional yards that will need cleanup eventually. DEQ requested that EPA collect additional yard samples further north and east of the yards already sampled. This sampling of 30 yards was done in March 2023.

​​The 31-acre site at 85 Baxter Street has been an active wood treatment facility since the early 1940s. Historical spills and operational practices have resulted in soil and groundwater c​ontamination.  Further, the facility has had issues with air emissions and concerns from residents about odors and possible, related health effects.  

Over the years, DEQ and LRAPA have investigated the facility and issued numerous enforcement actions and required cleanup measures. In October 2019, DEQ issued a cleanup plan, called a Record of Decision, which required this offsite sampling along with other cleanup actions onsite. Also in 2019, LRAPA included Baxter in the first set of facilities in Lane County to go through the Cleaner Air Oregon process. 

DEQ received results from eight off-site soil samples required under the October 2019 cleanup plan for J.H. Baxter's (Baxter) wood treatment facility in Eugene. ​

Four results, including one in the Bethel Neighborhood directly north of the facility and three stormwater ditch locations, indicated elevated levels of dioxins, a group of toxic chemicals.

Oregon Health Authority reviewed these draft results and determined the levels do not represent a public health risk. However, the levels in those four samples are elevated above DEQ's standard residential cleanup levels so this means that the soils need to be further investigated to determine if corrective action and cleanup is needed.

Community engagement

DEQ and EPA officials provided members of the community with:
updates on recent residential and facility sampling efforts, .
a preview of next steps for residential and facility cleanups, and .
an overview of the path for the Baxter facility to be potentially listed as a Superfund Site.
The hour-and-a-half meeting took place virtually and included presentations by DEQ and EPA, as well as a questions-and-answer session. 

Officials from DEQ and the EPA hosted a hybrid public meeting on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, to discuss the cleanup and investigation of the J.H. Baxter wood treating facility in west Eugene. 

The two-hour meeting took in-person place at the Willamette High School Media Center at 1801 Echo Hollow Road in Eugene and was also available virtually via Zoom. The meeting included presentations by DEQ and EPA, as well as a question-and-answer session.​

​​The following notes were provided by the meeting facilitator.

Next steps

Additional sampling of air, water, and soil will be completed with oversight from the technical work group. Communications with the public will continue through the community engagement core team as more information becomes available through this winter and next spring.

Where can I get more information?

The Sampling and Analysis Plan is available in  Oregon Records Management Solution
  • Information on the EPA investigation and cleanup of the facility on EPA's site profile webpage.
  • Information on the Cleaner Air Oregon process can be found on LRAPA's website.  
  • Information on environmental health assessment can be found on OHA's web page.


Dylan Darling 
DEQ Public Affairs Specialist

Bill Dunbar
EPA Public Affairs Specialist

Travis Knudsen
LRAPA Public Information Officer
541-736-1056 ext. 217

Your DEQ Online Project Number: 0055

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levels of dioxins in soil diagram