I just came across a response to an article by Donna Barnett on the Chasing Clean Air blog. The original post (written in late 2009) was entitled “Eugene and Oregon Air Quality,” and the response (posted a few days ago), by “Anonymous,” was a fairly out-there, nonsensical rant about how bad life is in Eugene, Oregon.
I couldn’t help but weigh in. Here’s what I said…
My, my, such carryings-on about Eugene! Yes, of course, Eugene has some air-quality issues, a lot of them related to pollen (as noted above). Also, historically, there have been a lot of smoke problems due to the grass-seed industry and field burning, but in recent times, that’s been more under control. I don’t know what brought on your tirade! I used to live in Eugene (for nine years) and Corvallis (for twenty years) and the Willamette Valley is just about my favorite place on earth. Even with my allergies, there’s no place I’d rather live, and I’m spending eight days there next month on vacation. It’s where I return to to get away from the Bay Area, where I now reside.
Is Eugene really that bad compared to other places? Well, yes, for some it is. I know folks who moved away because their allergies were just too problematic. However, I just now looked up the Air Quality Index for Eugene and discovered that on a scale of 0-500 (with 500 being the worst, 0 the best), Eugene’s AQI today is a mere 13 -- in the “good” category.
Too bad you’re having such a terrible time in Eugene. For me, it’s Paradise.