Politics puts LRAPA on the brink.Byline: Diane Dietz The Register-Guard
The fate of the Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority is likely to be decided by sundown next Monday.
That's the last chance for the Springfield City Council to withdraw its financial support of the air agency before passage of the annual city budget.
City and county politicians are warning that Springfield's departure would initiate a series of events that ultimately would close the 37-year-old agency early in 2006.
Politicians played a game of brinkmanship brink·man·ship also brinks·man·ship
The practice, especially in international politics, of seeking advantage by creating the impression that one is willing and able to push a highly dangerous situation to the limit rather than concede. over the fate of the agency all last week, but very little of the discussion took place in public meetings.
"These are all just private conversations that we've had on the side," said Lane County Commissioner Faye Stewart, who also sits on the eight-member air board. Stewart said three members of the five-member board of commissioners - if given the chance - would vote in favor of withdrawing from LRAPA LRAPA Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (formerly Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority) .
The same goes for the Springfield City Council, said councilor coun·cil·or also coun·cil·lor
A member of a council, as one convened to advise a governor. See Usage Note at council.
coun and LRAPA board member Dave Ralston. "I'm not going to give you names, but I can tell you that the majority of the City Council already does not support LRAPA."
If LRAPA were disbanded, the job of monitoring Lane County's air and regulating local polluters would go to the state Department of Environmental Quality.
The current question at the heart of the LRAPA matter is whether Eugene, Springfield or Lane County will get the upper hand on the air agency's all-appointed board.
In May, Eugene got to add a fourth member in accordance with a population-based formula prescribed by state law. Springfield wants to even the score by seating a second councilor on the board, on which Eugene has one councilor and three citizen appointees. After Eugene's four members, Stewart and Ralston, the rest of the board is made up of an Oakridge city councilor and an at-large member appointed by the air agency board.
Springfield's Ralston said a Eugene-dominated board would be too tough on business. Eugene City Councilor Betty Taylor, also on the LRAPA board, said it would give the agency the fortitude Fortitude
See also Bravery.
Fratricide (See MURDER.)
despite torture, refuses to deny Moses. [Islam: Walsh Classical, 35]
fulfills wifely and queenly duties despite losses. [Br. Lit. to put public health first.
Political observer Jack Roberts Jack Roberts (September 27, 1910 - October 1981) was an American football running back in the NFL for the Boston Redskins, Staten Island Stapletons, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played college football at the University of Georgia. , who is executive director of the Lane Metro Partnership, said that's a false dichotomy di·chot·o·my
n. pl. di·chot·o·mies
1. Division into two usually contradictory parts or opinions: "the dichotomy of the one and the many" Louis Auchincloss. that could destroy the agency and hurt the region in the long run.
The week-old dispute comes on the heels of a series of regional strains and stresses over proportioning jail space at the county jail, funding law enforcement and land use planning
Land use planning is the term used for a branch of public policy which encompasses various disciplines which seek to order and regulate the use of land in an efficient and ethical way. procedures.
"This is not exactly the golden age of intergovernmental in·ter·gov·ern·men·tal
Being or occurring between two or more governments or divisions of a government.
in cooperation here, locally anyway," Roberts said.
Smoldering smol·der also smoul·der
intr.v. smol·dered, smol·der·ing, smol·ders
1. To burn with little smoke and no flame.
The atmosphere was far different in 1964, when the Lane County Board of Commissioners sought to sign on with a one-man, joint Eugene/Springfield air pollution control program.
Fifty wigwams burned within the Eugene-Springfield borders. Wigwams were cast iron cones where lumber lumber, term for timber that has been cut into boards for use as a building material. The major steps in producing lumber involve logging (the felling and preparation of timber for shipment to sawmills), sawing the logs into boards, grading the boards according to mills burned their waste wood, called hogged hog
a. Any of various mammals of the family Suidae, which includes the domesticated pig as well as wild species, such as the boar and the wart hog.
a. A burned or partly burned substance, such as coal, that is not reduced to ashes but is incapable of further combustion.
b. A partly charred substance that can burn further but without flame. from two hogged fuel-fired dutch oven boilers in downtown Eugene that supplied steam heat to businesses hung over the city.
Several inches accumulated on downtown roofs, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Register-Guard coverage at the time.
In those days, some politicians were reluctant to regulate too aggressively.
Eugene Mayor Edwin Cone, for instance, told The Register-Guard in 1965: "We need jobs much more than we need an answer to air pollution."
Still, the cities and county agreed to the 1967 creation of the Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority to guarantee that the cooperative effort persevered after the state Legislature A state legislature may refer to a legislative branch or body of a political subdivision in a federal system.
The following legislatures exist in the following political subdivisions:
Similar agencies were created in Portland and Salem, although LRAPA is the only one that remains.
State law dictated the regional agencies' structure.
Then-Lane County legal counsel Bob Elfers said the design was as stable as a house of cards house of cards
n. pl. houses of cards
A flimsy structure, arrangement, or situation that is in danger of collapsing or failing: "The collapse of the rupiah . . . . The agencies had no power to levy taxes.
"The law may not be as workable as we hope it will be," he said at the time.
Refusal of any of the participating agencies to continue providing its share of financing could force the authority to collapse, he said. "The whole thing is based on cooperating. It may be vulnerable from this standpoint."
The governments occasionally found themselves at odds, spurred by the `split between `good old boys' of Springfield and the `university old folks' of Eugene,'' Don Arkell, agency director in the 1980s, told Robert Reed This article is about the American actor. For the American author, see Robert Reed (author).
Robert Reed (October 19, 1932 – May 12, 1992) was an Emmy Award-nominated American stage and television actor. Biography
Born John Robert Rietz, Jr. , who wrote "Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority: History and Issues."
Today, the chief rub on the LRAPA board is between Springfield Councilor Ralston, who is a draftsman at Farwest Steel, and Eugene City Councilor Taylor, a retired English professor.
It's unclear now how - or whether - the politicians can ease back from the brink Back from the Brink can refer to:
The Eugene-dominated board has refused to consider Springfield Mayor Sid Leiken's nomination of another councilor for the board.
Leiken is opposed to the two citizens who applied under the board's regular procedure.
"The fear is the person that's going to be added might be philosophically aligned with Eugene, although technically from Springfield," Roberts said.
On the other hand, the politicians are showing some signs of softening.
Ralston, for instance, said that although he would rather spend Springfield's share of LRAPA's budget on the DARE anti-drug program, he's unlikely to seek a change this year.
"We cannot leave our businesses hanging out there without representation so - as long as LRAPA exists - we're going to have to be a part of that," he said.
Stewart, on the county board, said the agency does "a lot of good things" and he won't push the issue with colleagues on the county board unless Springfield pulls out.
Leiken said that as long as the governments can come to terms with the representation problem, he won't recommend pulling the city out.
"Personally," Leiken said, "I would rather work with this and keep LRAPA in place at this point in time until another option would present or not present itself."
The air agency is trying to save itself by touting touting
the making of personal representations by a veterinarian to persons who are not clients in an attempt to solicit their business. its advantages. Here are some:
Early clean-up: Between 1965 and 1973, spurred by LRAPA, Eugene-Springfield went from 50 waste wood-burning ovens to five. Today, the agency administers a system that has banned outdoor burning in Eugene and restricted it in other parts of the county.
Regulation: LRAPA regulated emissions at 198 businesses in Lane County. Some say they appreciate dealing with a small, local agency.
Air testing: Today, LRAPA maintains 11 air monitoring sites in Lane County. The most any other county statewide has is three.
Enterprise: LRAPA's Airmetrics program, which manufactures portable air samplers, brings $1 million a year into the county.
Grants: LRAPA brings in $193,000 annually in regular grants and more for one-time special projects.
Initiatives: LRAPA is helping Interstate 5 truckers install small, low-polluting idling engines, aiding school districts to clean up diesel exhaust on school buses and spurring development of biodiesel in the region.