EPA

VIEWPOINT: Time For The EPA To Step Up

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I appreciated your article “To Bee Or Not To Bee, That Is The Question” (July 19), which highlighted a pressing issue that we have failed to address for far too long: the unprecedented and alarming population decline of bees. Bees are vital to both our food system and national economy—they pollinate nearly one in every three bites of food we eat—so we must do all we can to end their extreme die-offs, starting with banning neonicotinoids.

As the article stated, numerous factors are linked to CCD, but research shows that neonicotinoids can weaken bees’ immunity to other commonly blamed factors, in addition to killing them off directly. Furthermore, neonicotinoids persist in the environment and can accumulate quickly, contaminating water and soil and endangering the species that inhabit these ecosystems. The bottom line is that when chemicals are this toxic to the environment and to such valuable organisms, they shouldn’t be used at all.

While the European Union and parts of Canada have recognized this and restricted neonicotinoids—which are 6,000 times more toxic than DDT—the United States has allowed them to kill off bees for years virtually unchecked. However, right now, we have a great opportunity to change this. The EPA is currently reviewing neonicotinoids, which only happens every 15 years, so we must call on them to speed up their testing and eventually ban these dangerous chemicals altogether. Failure to ban these bee-killing pesticides will have disastrous effects—after all, no bees means no food.

Cashen Conroy

Environment Oregon

1536 SE 11th Avenue, Suite B

Portland, OR 97214

(508)-314-9105

EPA Tests Soil in West Eugene

Still1019_00001EUGENE, Ore. — Residents in West Eugene had the opportunity Sunday to find out if their garden soil contains dangerous contaminants. The EPA, Beyond Toxics, and LRAPA teamed up for the soil screenings.

People brought in a small sample of their garden soil to the testing site. The EPA ran it through an x-ray test to figure out if different levels of contaminants were in the soil.

“Looking for lead, arsenic, cobalt, and chrome.  Our background samplings showed no real levels of concern. But from house to house that may vary. Especially if it’s an older house and it has lead paint on it,” said Daniel Heister, E.P.A. coordinator.

Coordinators said the soil tested Sudnay did not have any dangerously high levels of contaminants. The EPA says it would like to do more soil testing in the area, but does not have another testing time set up.

December 4 – Morning Headlines

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Morning Headlines

[Headline-Sponsor]

Police say an adult man tried to grab the nine year old while she was at a water fountain, on the south side of Eugene Corridor Elementary.

Keep Current: – EDN Headline News, Sports and Weather

Tim Chuey Weather:

[Weather-Sponsor]

[gn_note color=#eee][Accuweather][/gn_note]

Look for more rain, possibly heavy at times, today and tonight. Remember to check the storm drains on your street to make sure they are clear of debris. It could prevent street flooding.

An upper level trough of low pressure (shaded “U”shape in blue arrows) is still pushing subtropical moisture into the Pacific Northwest that is coming from Hawaii (called the “Pineapple Express”). That is why our temperatures have stayed well above normal. A frontal system, the last in this series, is bringing even more rain with it. Here is a look at a frontal system that will push in Friday. Mt. Ashland says they will open this Thursday. Hoodoo is really close to opening and Willamette Pass is still waiting for quite a bit more snow.

[gn_spoiler title=”ADVISORIES” open=”0″ style=”1″]

A HIGH WIND WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT THROUGH NOON TODAY NEAR THE BEACHES AND HEADLANDS FOR THE NORTH AND CENTRAL OREGON COAST. A HIGH WIND WARNING IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM TODAY FOR THE SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTH OREGON COAST. A HIGH WIND WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM UNTIL 7 PM TODAY FOR NORTHERN AND EASTERN KLAMATH COUNTY, WESTERN, CENTRAL, AND EASTERN LAKE COUNTY. A HIGH SURF ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM TODAY FOR THE SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTH OREGON COAST. A FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT THROUGH WEDNESDAY FOR THE SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTH OREGON COAST, CENTRAL DOUGLAS COUNTY, EASTERN CURRY COUNTY, JOSEPHINE COUNTY, THE EASTERN DOUGLAS COUNTY FOOTHILLS, JACKSON COUNTY, THE SOUTH CENTRAL OREGON CASCADES, THE SOUTHERN OREGON CASCADES, THE SISKIYOU MOUNTAINS, THE KLAMATH BASIN. A WIND ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM TODAY FOR  JACKSON COUNTY, THE KLAMATH BASIN, NORTHERN AND EASTERN KLAMATH COUNTY, AND WESTERN LAKE COUNTY.

A FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES TO BE IN EFFECT FOR THE COQUILLE RIVER AT COQUILLE. FOR MORE DETAILS GO TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FLOOD WARNING PAGE.

[/gn_spoiler]

High: 54
Low: 36
Forecast: Mostly cloudy with rain, heavy at times this afternoon (1.50 in. of rain possible) and in the evening, windy (wind: S 20-30 mph shifting SW 10-20 mph in the afternoon), rain (1.50 in. of rain possible) tonight, showers likely (60%) Wednesday AM, a good (50%) chance of afternoon showers, mostly cloudy with a (30%) chance of showers Wednesday night, mostly cloudy with a (40%) chance of showers Thursday AM, then showers likely (60%) in the afternoon and Thursday night highs 54-46 lows 44-36. Mostly cloudy with showers likely (60%) Friday, a good (50%) chance of showers Friday night, a mix of clouds and sun with a good (50%) chance of showers Saturday, mostly cloudy with a (30%) chance of showers at night, a mix of clouds and sun with a slight (20%) chance of showers Sunday, then mostly cloudy with a (30%) chance of showers Sunday night and Monday highs 46-42 lows 37-32 warming to 35 Sunday night. (seasonal averages high 47 low 35)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com

Featured Artist

When the weather forecast is bad and the news is bad, there is always music. In this case it’s an album of exceptional local Eugene talent whose proceeds benefit the Kindtree Autism Rocks charity. Support Autism, the arts, and a bright spot in your day.

[bandcamp album=2124098872 bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

Groups call for buffer zones in pesticide use

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Aerial spraying of pesticides, or “crop dusting,” is a practice dating back to 1906.

Several public advocacy groups held a rally today against pesticides at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza during the Saturday Market. Pitchfork Rebellion, an anti-pesticide group from the Triangle Lake area organized “Occupy This! Rally for Pesticide Justice and Jobs!” The event called for banning aerial spraying of pesticides near homes and schools, creating a buffer zone to protect people’s health.

The rally began with a performance by local reggae/jam band Sol Seed, followed by a spoken word protest performance calling for a “pure organic Oregon.”

Then “Day,” a resident of the Triangle Lake area, took to the stage. Day is one of several residents of Triangle Lake who has been documented to have the pesticides 2,4-D and atrazine in his urine. 2,4-D, or 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, is a major ingredient in Agent Orange, one of the chemicals used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War. A professional analysis of four public streams near Day’s and other residents’ homes found these pesticides in all of the streams.

Several environmental groups held a rally today against pesticides at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza during the Saturday Market.

Day said,

“We’re just a bunch of hillbillies from Triangle Lake tired of getting hit by pesticides everyday.”

Studies by numerous organizations, from the EPA to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to public universities, have documented the effects of human consumption of pesticides. Pesticides can cause damage to the human nervous system, reproductive system and other organs, developmental and behavioral abnormalities, disruption of hormone function as well as immune dysfunction.

Day introduced Roy Key, a professional forester of over 40 years. Key said he was there to talk about the dangers of pesticide poisoning in Lane County.

“I’ve been in the forest business for 40 years. I’ve managed forests without herbicides or pesticides. You don’t need those substances to manage the forest.”

Key compared pesticide use to his experience in the Vietnam War.

“It’s just like Agent Orange all over again. But here in Lane County.”

Key called on attendees to tell Oregon governor John Kitzhaber to stop the use of pesticides in the state near homes and schools.

Day, a resident of Triangle Lake, has been documented to have the pesticides 2,4-D and atrazine in his urine. A professional analysis of four public streams near Day’s and other residents’ homes found these and other pesticides in all of the streams.

Oregon already has a buffer zone to protect waterways and salmon species. Streamside protection rules for non-federal forest land in Oregon were adopted in 1994. All private, state and local government forest landowners or operators conducting pesticide operations near streams, lakes or wetlands must comply with these rules. In November 2011, a federal judge upheld buffer zones for pesticide use near streams and rivers. Dow Chemical Company, a leader in specialty chemicals based in Michigan, filed a lawsuit seeking to undo the Oregon rules, saying that they were too restrictive. The restrictions ban the ground spraying of three agricultural insecticides within 500 feet of waterways with salmon. They also ban aerial spraying within 1000 feet of said waterways.

While Oregon has a buffer zone for pesticide use near water, it has not adopted a buffer zone near human activity. The Oregon Department of Forestry says,

“Currently, there are no regulations in Oregon requiring a buffer zone for aerial application of herbicides near specific structures or facilities, including schools.”

There are, nonetheless, safety requirements in how pesticides are used, both in residential and forested situations:

“While pesticide use in a residential setting must abide by pesticide label safety requirements, forestry applications must follow those requirements plus additional regulations spelled out in the Oregon Forest Practices Act.”

Pesticide companies, such as Dow Chemical, argue that their products abide by these safety requirements. Concerning 2,4-D, the substance found in Triangle Lake residents, Dow Chemical has said the following:

“2,4-D is available for use in U.S. crop production today because EPA has determined, after evaluating all human health and safety considerations – including the concerns expressed by activists – that current uses (including currently authorized uses on corn) pose ‘a reasonable certainty of no harm.’ This EPA conclusion was reached only after the Agency had considered all relevant data…This regulatory conclusion is supported by mainstream health and safety experts who have thoroughly evaluated the product.”

The application of pesticides has had a long and controversial history. Dr. Patricia Muir, Professor at Oregon State University’s Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, says that, following World War 2,

Ingrid Edstrom, nurse practitioner at Eugene’s Infrared Breast Thermography LLC, spoke of the link between pesticides and breast cancer. “Oregon has the second highest breast cancer rate per capita in the nation,” she added.

“Chemical pesticides have become the most important consciously-applied form of pest management.”

The Oregon Department of Forestry explains this popularity according to pesticides’ cost-effectiveness:

“Many landowners see herbicides as the most cost-effective means of achieving their reforestation goals following logging or fire, or for converting neglected brush land to forests.”

The first important pesticide was DDT (otherwise known as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane). Muir says,

“DDT was discovered in 1939 by a Swiss chemist Paul Muller. In its early days, it was hailed as a miracle…It was inexpensive and easy to apply. It was so effective at killing pests and thus boosting crop yields and was so inexpensive to make that its use quickly spread over the globe. In 1948, Muller was awarded the Nobel Prize for its discovery.”

As years went by, however, DDT was labeled both directly and indirectly toxic to many organisms. Most disturbingly, as Muir explains, DDT

“showed up in human breast milk at remarkably high concentrations — so high that the milk couldn’t legally be sold through interstate commerce if it were cow’s milk! [DDT] is the most widespread contaminant in human milk around the world.”

While DDT was banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1972, other pesticides are commonly used in Oregon. The last year in which Oregon has data compiled for pesticide use is 2008. That year it was reported that 280,001 pounds of pesticides (chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion) were used in the state.

A rally attendee protests 2,4-D, one of the pesticides found in streams near Triangle Lake.

The groups that rallied today are hoping to change how those hundreds of thousands of pounds of pesticides are administered. They asked all attendees to fill out postcards to Governor Kitzhaber to ask for expanding pesticide buffer zones to include not just fish, but people.

Christina Hubbard, the Project Director of Forest Web, also spoke at the rally. Forest Web is a grassroots conservation organization based in Cottage Grove. Hubbard said,

“Forest Web stands in solidarity with these groups. I’ve personally been working with Day since 2007. A lot of these pople have had major clinical studies done on their urine and it is documented that they have pesticide poisoning.”

Hubbard says this rally’s message is not particularly radical.

“Really what this is about is creating a reasonable buffer zone for aerial spraying. This is common sense, to protect homes and schools.”

For more information about Oregon’s use of pesticides in agriculture, go to the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s website at http://oregon.gov/ODA/PEST/. For more information about Oregon’s use of them in forestry, go to the Oregon Department of Forestry’s website at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/privateforests/pesticides.shtml. Websites for the groups involved in the rally are: Pitchfork Rebellion, http://pitchforkrebellion.com/; STOP, http://stop-oregon.org/; Forest Web, http://www.forestweb-cg.org/.

September 30 – Morning Headlines

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EPD faces first student lawsuit - College is back in session.

Headlines

  • Multiple Vehicle Accident At 2:16 this morning on I-5 southbound at milepost 195: MOTORCYCLE VS SEMI. RIDER DOWN. The motorcycle rider hit the rear of the semi.
  • Multiple Vehicle Accident at 2:28 this morning at Territorial Hwy and Hwy 126 in Veneta, Life Flight was called to the scene.  Update to follow.
  • Photos: Hazmat spill downtown
    A haz-mat spill in downtown Eugene prompted Lane Community College to cancel classes.
  • UO law student alleges excessive force by Eugene police
    A University of Oregon law student contends in a newly filed federal lawsuit that a Eugene police officer used excessive force and illegally entered his home to arrest him without a warrant after police arrived at his west university neighborhood resid…
  • Report: Crime Increasing in Downtown Eugene
    Crime is going up in parts of downtown Eugene   Eugene police say there’s been a spike in property crime near West 7th and West 11th avenues.   The latest report shows more auto break-ins and car thefts there than last month.   …
  • EPA Regulations Would Affect Wood Chip Burning
    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering new regulations that could have a huge impact on the timber industry.   If passed, the rules would classify certain leftover wood chips as a waste product.  That would requir…
  • Man jailed in Eugene bank robbery case
    A Eugene man is being held in the Lane County Jail after police arrested him in connection with last Friday’s robbery of a Key Bank branch at 1980 River Road in north Eugene. Daniel Blake Bigelow made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in …
  • Just the lights — for now — coming down at Civic Stadium
    Heads up, Civic Stadium fans. Part of the historic structure in south Eugene is about to come down. But people wanting to preserve the wooden stadium need not worry, at least not yet. Demolition crews in the next week or two could remove the pair of li…
  • Feds give Eugene woman free pot
    A Eugene woman gets free pot from the federal government because of her glaucoma. She’s one of four in the country.
  • Many find military presence at UO is welcomed
    On a campus famous for its patchwork student body comprised of environmentally conscious green activists and tie-dye-loving peaceniks, camouflage is finding its place in the quilt. Out of more than 8,000 schools surveyed for “military friendliness”…

Tim Chuey Weather:

Enjoy the sunshine and warmth today because it will go away as the weekend gets underway.

High: 77  Low: 50  Chance of Rain: slight

A  ridge of high pressure (“Arch” shape on orange line) has taken over for one more day keeping us warmer . A frontal system will come in today along with a new trough of low pressure to return increasing chances of precipitation.

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: A mix of clouds and sun today, mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers late tonight and Saturday AM, a (40%) chance of showers Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, a mix of clouds and sun in the AM, a slight (20%) chance of rain Sunday afternoon, then mostly cloudy with a good (50%) chance of rain Sunday night highs 77-69 lows near 50. Mostly cloudy with a (30%) chance of rain Monday AM, rain likely (60%) in the afternoon, rain Monday night through Wednesday, rain likely (60%) Wednesday evening, then showers likely (60%) late Wednesday night and Thursday highs 68-56 lows 52-48. (seasonal averages high 72 low 44)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com