Going Beyond Toxics in Eugene

The next time you step outside in Eugene, Oregon, don’t waste your breath. You’re most likely surrounded by something that many Eugene residents don’t ever experience: clean air. Head west on Highway 99 and the divide between East and West Eugene becomes even more apparent. “You can kind of tell we’re in a different part of town,” points out Alison Guzman, outreach coordinator at Beyond Toxics, a Eugene-based environmental justice organization. She’s right: In stark contrast to the tall evergreens and lush foliage that surrounds much of East Eugene, the West Eugene area trades academia for industry as groves of conifers are swapped for smaller, unobtrusive shrubs.