Beyond Toxics

Danielle Tinker / Beyond Toxics

Governor Kate Brown has proclaimed this Saturday Oregon Native Bees Conservation Awareness Day.  There will be events in Eugene celebrating the pollinators.

A bill introduced last week in Salem would give Oregonians and lawmakers more tools to regulate aerial spraying of chemical pesticides on private forest land.

Lisa Arkin is Executive Director of Beyond Toxics, based in Eugene. She says the bill, called the Public Health and Water Resources Protection Act, was inspired by cases in Triangle Lake and Curry County where residents believe they were poisoned by spraying of pesticides on nearby private forestland.

Recorded on: February 27, 2015

Air Date: March 2nd, 2015

A relatively new, and currently controversial, process for extracting natural gas (methane) and oil from shale formations is high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing. Fracking, as it is called, has motivated the creation of a substantial literature of personal narratives recounting fracking’s adverse impact on humans.

Seneca Sustainable Energy

A Eugene based environmental watchdog group has filed a federal complaint against the Lane County Air Protection Agency, or LRAPA, over its decision to allow a biomass plant to increase its emissions.

Rachael McDonald

A national report released Wednesday finds that half of the plants sold at major retailers as "bee friendly" are actually poisonous to bees. The plants are pre-treated with pesticides that are harmful to pollinators according to the study by Friends of the Earth.

Neonicotinoids are pesticides that kill bees and other pollinators. Lisa Arkin is with Eugene-based Beyond Toxics. She says retailers don't label plants to indicate whether they've been treated with these chemicals.

Autumn Steam

Honeybees are in peril because of disease and pesticides. A photo contest celebrating bees will be on display during the first Friday Artwalk in Eugene Friday evening.

The organization Beyond Toxics has been sounding the alarm about bee health for years. They're celebrating a recent decision by the Eugene City Council to ban the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids from city property. The chemicals are proven to kill bees and other insects. Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics says we should care about bees because they help to grow food:

Valentine's Day celebrates the "birds and the bees." Lately, bees have not been doing so well. Saturday, thousands of people in five cities including Eugene will ask major retailers to remove certain pesticides and garden plants, blamed for killing bee populations.

Supporters want major retailers Home Depot and Lowes to stop selling pesticides and garden plants containing neonicotinoids . The chemical is used to fight aphids and other leaf eating insects. Lisa Arkin of the environmental group Beyond Toxics says neonicotinoids are found in the soil of plants sold at those stores.

Oregon Department of Forestry

The timber industry practice of spraying herbicides on clear cuts to ensure replanted saplings can take hold has been cause for controversy in Oregon.  Now the Eugene-based anti-pesticide group Beyond Toxics has released an analysis finding industry spraying in one rural community increased over a three year period.  

Executive Director Lisa Arkin:

Beyond Toxics

A pilot research project will study the health effects of air pollution in West Eugene.

A new technology will be deployed to track West Eugene residents' exposure to air pollutants. Participants will wear a wristband that takes air samples, use a cell phone app to transmit data and a spirometer to test lung function. Oregon State University Environmental Health Sciences Center is running the study. They've been working closely with Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics.