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Emissions from the continuously operating since 1922, Union Pacific owned/ AmeriTies West LLC. operated wood treatment facility, cause great concern to residents as to the effects the toxic chemical cocktail called creosote has on their health. The damage that creosote exposure causes to the human body is well known and has been for quite some time. Numerous countries have banned its use completely and in 1986, due to industry lobbying for a "hardship exception," the United States allows only one legal use left for creosote, treating railroad ties. Currently, Union Pacific Railroad continues to use creosote to treat ties, under minimal regulation and with disregard for human health.

Naphthalene is one of over 300 substances that make up the toxic cocktail creosote. Along with PAH's (Poly Cyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons), the heating of creosote emits many other VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds), such as Benzene and Arsenic, that are recognized by the EPA as carcinogenic compounds.

Recently, in response to strong advocating from local citizens, the Eastern Oregon DEQ brought three PAH monitors to test specifically for naphthalene levels in our air. The results of which showed the state's long-term cancer-risk benchmark being exceeded by as much as 100 percent in some areas. Yet without explanation, the monitors were shut off after three months, and we are told that although naphthalene levels consistently exceed the cancer-risk benchmark, that the benchmark is a conservative, health-based goal, and therefore not enforceable.

We love this little town, nestled in the Columbia Gorge, a National Scenic Area. Some of us grew up here and have suffered effects from creosote our whole lives, others have chosen to plant roots here with intent of raising a family. But we're tired of watching our kids and loved-ones suffer. We're tired of being debilitated by toxic fumes that keep us trapped in our homes. We deserve to have our concerns addressed by our local officials and health care community. We deserve accurate and transparent monitoring that reflects emissions from local industry. We have a Right To Know what's in our air.

Please join us in urging the DEQ to act on these troubling naphthalene results and deploy a full toxics monitor to The Dalles for long-term monitoring of our air shed.

For more information, please check out our website

Thank you, from the bottom of our lungs.

The Dalles Air Coalition (TDAC)



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