Thursday, May 3, 2012

Agent Orange Dump Site Is Oregon Desert’s Toxic Legacy
One of the most toxic dumps in Oregon remains in legal limbo.

A deal cut by the state with the company that owns the site has now been dropped. And the Department of Environmental Quality has no plans – or money – to clean it up.

About 60 miles north of Lakeview a barbed wire fence surrounds a patch of desert. Warning signs tell people to stay away.
Boyd Levet remembers watching in 1976 as the dump was created.

“It was probably just acres but it seemed like miles and miles of barrels just lined up in rows. It was a sight you would not expect to see in a place as beautiful as Oregon,” says Levet, who was a reporter back then for KOIN-TV.

25,513 barrels containing more than 1 million gallons of pesticide had been stacked next to Alkali Lake. They promptly started leaking.

Levet’s old news film shows the state of Oregon sent in bulldozers. They didn’t just bury the drums. They crushed them, allowing more toxins to pour out.

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