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DEQ issues three penalties in May for environmental violations

Statewide, OR—NOTE: DEQ corrected this news release on July 29, 2022, updating the number of fines and penalty total for May. The case for Mt Hood Septic LLC has been removed from this news release and is now included in the July 2022 enforcement news release.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued three penalties totaling $75,790 in May for various environmental violations. A detailed list of violations and resulting penalties is at https://ordeq.org/enforcement .

Fines ranged from $3,300 to $62,290. Alleged violations include a metal parts manufacturer in Albany storing drums of unknown solid and hazardous waste that posed a risk to workers and the environment and a cargo ship discharging prohibited ballast water into Coos Bay.

DEQ issued civil penalties to the following organizations:
• Chinese-Polish Joint Stock Shipping Company, $10,200, Coos Bay, ballast water
• City of Union, $3,300, Union, wastewater
• Selmet Inc., $62,290, Albany, hazardous waste

In addition to the penalties listed above, DEQ issued an amended notice of civil penalty and order to J.H. Baxter & Co. in Eugene on May 4, 2022, adding new violations that include storing hazardous waste longer than allowed, failing to properly label containers of hazardous waste, and allowing untreated stormwater overflows in December 2021 and January 2022. The amended order supersedes the original notice that DEQ issued on March 3, 2021. The total penalty increased by $82,000, from $223,440 to $305,440. The wood treatment company appealed the original notice and may amend its appeal.

Organizations or individuals must either pay the fines or file an appeal within 20 days of receiving notice of the penalty. They may be able to offset a portion of a penalty by funding a supplemental environmental project that improves Oregon’s environment. Learn more about these projects at https://ordeq.org/sep .

Penalties may also include orders requiring specific tasks to prevent ongoing violations or additional environmental harm.

DEQ works with thousands of organizations and individuals to help them comply with laws that protect Oregon’s air, land and water. DEQ uses education, technical assistance, warnings and penalties to change behavior and deter future violations.

Media contact: Dylan Darling, public affairs specialist, 541-600-6119, dylan.darling@deq.oregon.gov

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