Please sign our petition to the Governor demanding she act to Clean Up J.H. Baxter!
We, the citizens of Eugene, call on Governor Brown to immediately use her authorities under ORS 468.115 to direct the Oregon DEQ and the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency to issue a cease and desist order to JH Baxter ordering them to stop operations given the serious danger to public health, safety, and the environment caused by the facilities operations and decades of repeated permit violations by the company.
A cease and desist order will help to ensure that all employees at the facility will not continue to be harmed by the high levels of dioxin at the work site.
On January 13, 2022, the Oregon DEQ reported evidence that dioxins from the JH Baxter site are contaminating the private yards of West Eugene residents and public parks. These neighborhoods are well documented as working class neighborhoods with a larger percentage of people of color.
Research on dioxins and human toxicity published in the National Library of Medicine states:
Dioxins are classified as known human carcinogens, but they also cause noncancerous effects like atherosclerosis, hypertension, and diabetes. Long-term exposures to dioxins cause disruption of the nervous, immune, reproductive, and endocrine system. Short-term exposure to high levels impairs the liver function and causes chloracne. The most sensitive population to dioxin exposure are the fetuses and infants. A large number of health effects have been documented in the scientific literature, and they all place dioxins among the most toxic chemicals known to man. - Dioxins and Human Toxicity
This most recent discovery follows decades of significant violations by JH Baxter of their air discharge permit. A decade ago, in 2011, the DEQ identified JH Baxter as a Significant Non-Complier and in March 2021, the DEQ fined JH Baxter $223,440 for intentional violations of their solid waste permit. The Oregon DEQ, US EPA, and LRAPA have issued 18 enforcement actions against JH Baxter.