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July 6, 2006 Outrageous clean-up plan! Let’s see if I understand this situation. The Union Pacific Railroad owns the property in question, north of A Street, in Ashland. For whatever reasons, the company made decisions over a per

Outrageous clean-up plan!

Let’s see if I understand this situation. TheUnion Pacific Railroadowns the property in question, north of A Street, in Ashland. For whatever reasons, the company made decisions over a period of many years, which resultedin soil contamination on that property with lead, arsenic and other dangeroustoxins over a 20-acre area. So now, in orderto sell and/or develop the property (and, one would assume, make a lot of money), they must first clean it up.

Their proposal, seemingly acceptable to the DEQ’s Greg Aitken, is to carry away the polluted soil (1.) using large, noisy smelly, polluting dieseltrucks, (2.) at a rate of 100 truck loads per day,(3.) Every day, for a period of — months or more. And they plan to (4.) route those trucks through our otherwise peaceful, residentialneighborhoods!

There is an alternative. We’d still have to put up with the noise, etc., from the bulldozers andbackhoes, but the soil could be loaded into rail cars and hauled away. Ah, but they don’t want to do that. Why? Because itmight be harder and more costly for the U. P. Railroad.

Excuse me! They caused the problem. They want tosell/develop it to make money. We, the residents,will have to put up with all of the noise, polluted dust and all other associated problems with the necessary clean-up,because ofthe company’s earlier choices (and keep in mind that, for all the soil removed, an equal amountwill have to be brought in to replace it). And, now, they expect us to bear the added burden of the trucking method! Please! I thought the DEQ’s job was to try to protect the citizens, not thebest interests of perpetrators of environmental problems.

Iurge Ashland residents to contact the DEQ (800) 452-4011, fax: (503) 229-6124, the mayor and city council members, if you agree with me that this is an unacceptable solution to the problem.

Morty Smith

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