laurie laurie, June 6, 2017

Events > 2017 > June > DEQ Extends Comment Period for Eugene Rail Yard Cleanup Plan to June 30, 2017

About this event:

Created by laurie


DEQ’s Environmental Cleanup Program  is extending the comment period on its proposed long-term plan for managing contamination at parts of the Eugene Rail Yard from June 15 to June 30, 2017.  The attached news release and public notice provide details on how to view the plan and provide comments, as well as contact information.

More information on the project’s history can be found at:

You can view DEQ’s public notices, calendar and news releases, and sign up for email and text updates at

NR Eugene Railyard comment extension

FinalPublicNotice-RequestForCommentsUPRREugene (002)

 Contact info:

Katherine Benenati Public Affairs Specialist

Western Region – 165 East 7th Avenue, Suite 100

Eugene, OR 97401-3049; Office: 541-686-7997; Mobile: 541-600-6119; Toll Free In Oregon: 800.844.8467

Possible talking points:
1.) The May 22 DEQ meeting was poorly attended because it was not well publicized with a small legal notice in the Register Guard on page B-6 of the May 15 issue.
2.) Residents of River Rd. And Trainsong neighborhoods had uncontaminated working private wells and now may have tainted wells due to groundwater contamination from the UPRR rail yard. As a precaution, residents have stopped using their wells and now must pay for EWEB water to irrigate gardens and for recreational use. These residents should be reimbursed by UPRR for having to purchase water.
3.) DEQ recommends testing of private well water by a licensed testing agency. UPRR should be paying for these tests.
4.) DEQ has known of this soil and groundwater contamination in the River Rd. And Trainsong neighborhoods from UPRR rail yard since 1990. Real estate contracts that had private working wells since 1990 should have had disclosure statements to new buyers that these wells may have been polluted from a groundwater contamination plume that supplied the wells.
5.) Union Pacific Railroad, over the last 100 plus years, has damaged the natural resources (soil and groundwater) of the River Rd. and Trainsong neighborhoods which is a violation of the Public Trust Doctrine. According to this Doctrine, the Department of Environmental Quality has a fiduciary responsibility to protect the assets of the residents and return these natural resources back to their original state while holding UPRR financially responsible for any monetary damages.
6.) This is more than a pollution problem, it is a problem with how the democratic process has failed the community in believing there was a governmental advocate that preserves the rights of nature. DEQ needs to explain how they let UPRR pollute their rail yard for over 100 years and continue business as usual while contaminating the groundwater of River Rd. and Trainsong neighborhoods.
7.) DEQ should have or currently should do multi year studies to determine disease, illness trends, or cancer cluster tendencies in the Bethel, Trainsong, River Rd. Neighborhoods.
8.) Reports of poor air quality in the Bethel, Trainsong, and South River Rd. neighborhoods are regular and monitoring is only done in the south Amazon Park area. DEQ or LRAPA should be exploring more air monitoring of the west industrial areas.