Environment

Environment & Planning

Lena Jackson

Lead and arsenic used decades ago in pesticides are still lingering in the topsoil of Pacific Northwest apple country. That poses a health risk for children who come in close contact with dirt -- in the backyards and playgrounds developed from former orchards. In this second and final part  of our series, EarthFix reporters Courtney Flatt and Tony Schick traveled to some of those places to find out what’s being done to keep kids safe from contaminated soil.

It was a hot summer afternoon in Yakima when we ran into Jennifer Garcia. 

Tony Schick / Earthfix

For decades, apple growers in Central Washington sprayed their trees with a misty brew of lead and arsenic to keep pests away. The practice stopped in the mid-20th century. Since then, many of those orchards have been redeveloped -- some as housing subdivisions, schools, and daycare centers. Even though the orchards are long gone, those toxic chemicals remain in the soil.

City Club of Eugene. Recorded on: October 16th, 2015

City Club of Eugene. Air Date: October 19th, 2015

Jordan Cove Energy Project

Last month the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted final environmental approval for a gas pipeline and terminal on Oregon’s southern coast. Activists who oppose this project are holding trainings in Eugene through the weekend in preparation for a protest Monday in Salem.

The Great Oregon ShakeOut

On October 15th Oregonians will join the world’s largest earthquake drill. Over 40 million people worldwide are expected to participate in the Great Shake Out at 10:15 in the morning. Part of the Cascadia Subduction Zone is located in Oregon; experts say it is due for an earthquake and tsunami similar to the 2011 one in Japan. Visit the Great ShakeOut website  for more information and to register.

Friends of Buford Park Mt. Pisgah

Conservation groups have acquired a 62-acre parcel near Mount Pisgah outside Eugene. The former gravel mine will be restored and protected as habitat for fish and wildlife.

Jes Burns

In October, the Environmental Protection Agency took steps to protect public health by tightening restrictions on smog. The new clean air standard is not as far-reaching as health and environmental advocates were calling for. But it’s more strict than many industry representatives wanted to see.

willametteriverkeeper.org

Hundreds of Lane County volunteers will take to the water and the shore this weekend to freshen up the Willamette River.

Jordan Cove Energy Project

Federal energy regulators have signed off on a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline in Southern Oregon. A final review published Wednesday says the Jordan Cove project won’t have significant negative effects on the environment.

Ecological Burn Planned at Buford Park

Sep 30, 2015
Mt Pisgah Arboretum

Prescribed ecological burns are planned at Mt. Pisgah near Eugene-Springfield over the next month, starting as early as Thursday.  

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