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Additional sampling needed to determine depth of contamination
Eugene, OR—Removal and replacement of soil from five residential properties near the JH Baxter plant in west Eugene will take place early next year, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality announced today. The soil has elevated levels of dioxin believed to have come from the now-closed wood treatment facility.

DEQ had planned to remove soil from the properties by the end of this year. However, testing that took place in June discovered dioxin contamination deeper than had been expected – as much as 12 inches deep in some yards. More sampling is needed to determine the depth of contamination, which in turn will determine how much soil needs to be removed. The additional sampling will take several months to complete.

The decision to delay soil removal has been discussed with and agreed to by each of the property owners.

To date, DEQ and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have sampled 32 yards in the area north of JH Baxter. The results show five yards with dioxin concentrations that exceed 40 parts per trillion, a level that needs cleanup as soon as possible based on potential health impacts to children under six years old. No children live in the five homes set for soil cleanup.

Once further soil sampling is complete, DEQ will develop a detailed cleanup plan and timeline.

Media contact: Harry Esteve, 503-951-3856, harry.esteve@deq.oregon.gov

About Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality protects human health and the environment by controlling air and water pollution, reducing the impacts of manufactured products and cleaning up contaminated properties. DEQ engages the public in decision-making and helps communities solve problems in ways that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

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