DEQ Announces Penalties Totaling $389,972 in August 2008

{OR Dept. of Environmental Quality Release}  The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality announced today 17 penalties totaling $389,972 for August 2008. So far in 2008, DEQ has issued 153 penalties totaling $1,408,785. That compares to 145 penalties totaling $1.76 million for the same period a year ago. A complete list of penalties issued throughout Oregon in August 2008 is attached in a table on the following pages of this news release.

The month’s largest penalty – totaling $254,362 – was issued to railcar and barge manufacturer Gunderson LLC and Gunderson Marine Inc. for numerous, repeat hazardous waste violations at its northwest Portland facility along the Willamette River. An Aug. 15 news release on this penalty may be found on DEQ’s Web site at: The company appealed the penalty on Aug. 28.

Tank leak follow-up violation leads to $29,664 penalty in White City

DEQ issued the month’s second-largest penalty, totaling $29,664, to Colvin Oil Company and Colvin Oil Stations Inc., for failing to complete a full investigation of environmental impacts caused by a leaking underground storage tank at their facility at 6779 Crater Lake Highway in White City. The petroleum release was discovered in 1995 during decommissioning of four underground storage tanks at the site.

The oil companies were cited for failing to start and complete an investigation to determine the full nature, extent and magnitude of soil and groundwater contamination on the property caused by the petroleum release. After groundwater monitoring wells were installed at the site in November 2000, DEQ requested sampling information from the wells and other information needed to determine environmental impact to the site. Despite numerous letters from DEQ requesting information, the companies failed to collect groundwater samples at the site until January 2008. DEQ also didn’t receive a report regarding groundwater monitoring samples, as required, even after the samples were taken. In addition, the companies failed to install all required monitoring wells at the site and failed to collect required soil samples.

Colvin Oil Company and Colvin Stations Inc. appealed the penalty on Aug. 25. A hearing has yet to be scheduled.

Portland facility cited for pollution runoff

On Aug. 24, DEQ served the month’s third-largest penalty ($15,405) to Pacific Land Clearing & Recycling Company Inc., which operates a material recovery facility at 6400 SE 101st Ave. in Portland, for actions that resulted in polluted runoff seeping into an unlined drainage ditch that discharges into Johnson Creek. The runoff, from stockpiled roofing waste, had high levels of acidity and concentrations of dissolved metals at levels that could adversely affect freshwater aquatic life in the creek.

DEQ is currently working with Pacific Land Clearing on its application for a new material recovery facility permit. The company has improved its pollution controls at the site and DEQ is working to get the company into full compliance with state environmental regulations.

Pacific Land Clearing has until Sept. 15 to appeal the penalty.


(Note to editors and reporters: These civil penalty actions reflect alleged violations of state and/or federal laws designed to protect human health and the environment. The parties listed have the option to appeal the assessed penalty. Penalties are for violations of permits or prohibited activities affecting air or water quality, or the safe handling and disposal of hazardous or solid wastes. Penalty amounts vary depending on a variety of factors. These include magnitude of the violation, response of the penalized party to correct the violation, and whether there had been other violations in the past. Oregon law requires that, with minor exceptions, DEQ penalties are deposited directly into the state’s General Fund. DEQ enforces both state laws and some federal laws delegated to the state by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.)

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