Environmental Justice

Historical patterns of discriminatory exposure to toxic and environmental hazards put vulnerable communities at higher risk of serious health problems.


For far too long, neighborhoods in West Eugene have been burdened by polluters such as J.H. Baxter. The Eugene City Council considered and passed a Public Health Protection Zone to address this ongoing issue. This zone will provide additional safeguards to protect public health and add buffers between residential homes and big polluters. Learn more about this initiative and its benefits.

What we are doing

Beyond Toxics is part of a community-driven, multiracial movement that confronts the systemic and historic factors behind environmental injustices. Our mission is to advocate for clean air and water and prioritize the well-being of Oregon’s frontline communities. We are actively pushing for stronger policies that highlight and protect public health.

Read about the upcoming events related to environmental justice.



Air Quality

We collaborate closely with communities affected by the consequences of industrial air toxics, landfill off-gassing, diesel particulate and carbon pollution. Our efforts in advocating for air emission reporting have played a pivotal role in pressuring the state to implement a new program that mandates industries to disclose their air emissions inventory. We helped make this crucial data accessible to the public. By empowering communities with information, we are working towards a more transparent and accountable approach to reducing environmental hazards. Learn more


Climate Justice

The impacts of climate change impose a disproportionate burden on communities that have contributed the least to the problem and manifest in various ways. Intensified extreme events like flooding, wildfires and drought are all consequences. Additionally, climate change adversely affects the quality of air, water and soil, leading to detrimental impacts on the health and well-being of marginalized communities and Tribes who bear the brunt of these environmental challenges. Recognizing this inequity is crucial to finding solutions as we strive for climate justice and work towards creating a more equitable and resilient future. Learn more


West Eugene Community Health

In West Eugene, the absence of community investments is clearly evident. Local residents bear the burden of inhaling 99% of all industrial air toxics in the Eugene metropolitan area. Through our Environmental Justice projects, Beyond Toxics initiated hundreds of community health surveys in these frontline neighborhoods to help gather valuable insights. Nearly two-thirds of respondents reported significant impacts from polluted air and various health problems. These results emphasize the urgent need for targeted action and environmental interventions to address the pressing challenges faced by local communities. Learn more


Toxics Right-To-Know

The concept of “Toxics Right-To-Know” forms the bedrock of genuine environmental justice principles. Government transparency and access to information are key components. Both are necessary reforms for communities to effectively advocate for safeguards against poorly regulated and hazardous industrial, forestry and agricultural practices. Equipped with factual knowledge, communities can empower themselves and make informed decisions to protect their well-being and environment. By advocating for and upholding the principles of the “Toxics Right-To-Know” principles, we pave the way for a more equitable and informed approach to environmental protection. Learn more

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Stories from Our Communities

Stories from Our Communities highlights the challenges faced by individuals and families in Lane County as they combat pollution in their neighborhoods. Beyond Toxics actively collaborates with these communities, working hand-in-hand to seek viable solutions. Andrea, a resident from the West Eugene area, eloquently expresses her vision, stating, “In the future, my hope for this neighborhood is that we can get a public health overlay zone to protect myself, my family and our neighbors from future pollution and toxins in the neighborhood.” Learn more

Read about the Beyond Toxics legislative agenda for Oregon's 2023 session

Read about last year's Beyond Toxics legislative agenda victories in the Oregon legislature

Read about our 2021 Environmental Justice Pathways Summit (includes 7 video recordings of speakers including keynote speakers, Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali and Sheila Watt-Cloutier)

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, we can’t eat money, or drink oil.
~ Chief Water Commissioner Autumn Peltier

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