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Another plan takes shape for de-contaminating Ashland railroad yard

More than a century of heavy use and servicing of locomotives and railroad cars led to a buildup of contamination of the soil and groundwater in the Ashland railroad yard.

The city, the state of Oregon, and the current owner, Union Pacific Railroad, have gone around for years on a plan to get rid of the contaminated soil. The current plan calls for the dirty soil to be laid on one end of the property and "encapsulated," to prevent any contaminants from leaking out.

A public meeting is set for September 27th to air details of the plan. We get a preview from Dylan Darling and Margaret Oscilia of the state Department of Environmental Quality, DEQ.

Details on the event:

DEQ Ashland Rail Yard Cleanup Open House - 
Wednesday, September 27, 2023, 5:30 p.m.  
Ashland Library, Gresham Room,
410 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 97520

DEQ has extended the public comment deadline by 32 days in response to requests from the public. The new comment deadline is Oct. 31, 2023.

More info here: https://www.oregon.gov/deq/get-involved/documents/092923UPRRAshland.pdf

Union Pacific weighed in with a statement:
"Since inheriting the Ashland Rail Yard in the 90s, Union Pacific has made measurable progress with cleanup and remediation plans in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. We are committed to the completion of a comprehensive site remediation process in accordance with established regulations benefitting the community."

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.