Take Action for a Gas Station Moratorium
The Eugene City Council and Mayor are currently considering a land use policy that would ban the construction of new gas stations. We ask that the council schedule a work session before the end of the year, and that they make a motion to pass the policy.
We need your help to protect public health and our environment! Eugene City Councilors needs to hear from you now! Use our testimony guide below to make your voice heard.
Gas Station Moratorium Testimony Guide
What is the purpose of banning construction of new gas stations?
Protect Public Health
Preventing Environmental Contamination
Other Talking Points
Testify at Key Eugene City Council Meetings
SUBJECT: Gas Station Moratorium
WHEN: Monday November 13th or 27th at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Address for (in-person attendees): 101 W 10th Ave, Lane Community College Downtown, Mary Spilde Center
TO SIGN UP TO TESTIFY in person or via Zoom, fill out the Request To Speak form between 7:00 - 7:35 p.m. on Monday.
ZOOM LINK: For the Monday, Nov. 13th City Council Meeting: https://eugene-or-gov.zoom.us/j/83238631184 (Password: council9)
To give testimony via Zoom make sure that your Zoom name matches the name you use to sign up.
* Those who have submitted a sign-up form by 7:35 p.m. will be added to the speaker’s queue.
* At 7:35 the sign-up will close and the queue will be randomized and shown at the start of the Public Forum.
* Speakers, in person and on Zoom, will be called in the order they appear on the list. The moderator will promote speakers to panelists when it is their turn to speak.
* Public Forum speakers will typically have up to 2.5 minutes to speak, though the mayor may adjust the speaking time as needed.
Written testimony can be submitted to City Council by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mayor Vinis and Eugene City Councilors,
As someone passionate about public health and climate change, I encourage the city council to support the ban on construction of new gas stations. Gas stations emit toxic vapors through the evaporation of petroleum stored in underground tanks. Vapors including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene are hazardous air pollutants known to cause asthma, birth defects, decrease cardiovascular function, attack the immune system, and even cause cancer. Studies have repeatedly found higher rates of childhood leukemia in homes next to gas stations compared to homes farther away.
The city currently has 56 gas stations in the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), and everyone can access one or more of them in a five minute drive. Oregon, California, and major automakers have all agreed to halt any sale of new gasoline cars in the year 2035. Accordingly, the Eugene and Water Electric Board predicts that 64-80% of cars on Eugene’s roads will be electric in less than 12 years. The Boston Consulting Group shows that 80% of gas stations will be unprofitable in 2035. While many argue it’s best to allow market forces to regulate gas stations, local governments must plan ahead to prevent the proliferation of unprofitable abandoned gas stations. A ban on new gas station construction is needed.
Gas stations also leak petroleum into the surrounding air, water, and soil. The worst case scenario occurs when one or more underground petroleum storage tanks leaks. Often leaks aren’t discovered until the tank is removed after a gas station closes, or in the case of severe leaks, contaminants are found in nearby properties.
In Eugene, 303 leaks from petroleum tanks have been reported by the DEQ since 1987, and 114 of those are still not cleaned up. Leaks contaminate ground and surface water, soil, and air. Leaking petroleum damages nearby properties may result in lowered residential and commercial property values. Clean-up and remediation cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and are often left incomplete to save money. This is costly and dangerous for future property owners.
Some neighborhoods in Eugene benefit from an overlay zone prohibiting gas stations. This includes the East Campus Overlay, Nodal development overlays, Downtown Riverfront, Broadway overlay and more. Entire cities in the United States have already implemented a ban on construction of new gas stations, and more are planning to do so.
It’s time to extend these same common sense public health policies to the whole city of Eugene! Please hold a work session on this urgent topic at the earliest possible date.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sign your name, address and ward number