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From Dept. of Environmental Quality: You don’t follow the rules, you get fined…

DEQ issues 10 penalties in March for environmental violations

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued 10 penalties totaling $381,697 in March for various environmental violations. A detailed list of violations and resulting penalties is at https://ordeq.org/enforcement.

Fines ranged from $4,800 to $223,440. Alleged violations included illegal burning of prohibited material near the Umpqua River, discarding wastewater from a mine into the Burnt River, and discharging raw sewage into the Isthmus Slough—causing the closure of commercial oyster beds in Coos Bay.

DEQ issued civil penalties to the following organizations:

Ayman Haswah, $20,736, Williams, stormwater
BACH Land Development, $74,469, Medford, asbestos
City of Adrian, $7,001, Adrian, wastewater
JH Baxter, $223,440, Eugene, hazardous waste
K&E Excavating Inc., $8,400, Hereford, wastewater
Kruse Farms, Inc., $12,236, Roseburg, open burning
Laskey-Clifton Corporation, $16,800, Reedsport, wastewater
Lejar Enterprises LLC, $4,800, Tualatin, stormwater
Steve Oien Construction, $7,815, Philomath, stormwater
Thomson Equipment Co., $6,000, Portland, stormwater

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.

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.

Note: DEQ is committed to balancing its vital obligation to enforce the law and protect the environment with a consideration of the dramatic disruptions to public health and the economy caused by COVID-19. DEQ will continue to exercise reasonable enforcement discretion within its authority when issuing civil penalties. In addition, DEQ recognizes the pandemic may affect the ability to comply with corrective actions or pay a civil penalty. Visit DEQ’s COVID-19 webpage for more information.

Media contact: Laura Gleim, public affairs specialist, 503-577-3697, laura.gleim@deq.state.or.us

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