The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has levied a penalty totaling $14,518 on the Port of Toledo for “failing to determine whether waste generated at their boat repair facility was hazardous waste. The port was also cited for illegally treating hazardous waste paint and thinners at the boat repair facility located at 1000 SW altree Lane in Toledo.”
Port Manager Bud Shoemake told News Lincoln County that he’s constrained about what he can say about the matter since the Port Commission ordered the port’s attorney to appeal the fine and the DEQ’s findings. That appeal has been filed, according to Shoemake. He said the most he can say to the public at this point is “We are strongly appealing the fine and the findings.”
Here is the text of the DEQ’s allegations against the Port of Toledo:
Old paint removed from ships during stripping operations may contain toxic and hazardous chemicals such as selenium, cadmium and a host of heavy metals. By law all non-household waste generators must determine whether their waste is hazardous before disposal. Between June 2011 and June 2012 the Port shipped five waste piles – each weighing between 7 to 12 tons – of spent blast grit and old marine paint and coatings to the Coffin Butte Landfill in Corvallis, Ore.
Despite an analysis of the first waste pile on June 27, 2011 that showed the waste pile contained cadmium and selenium, the Port did not conduct further testing to determine whether the waste was hazardous and did not test the other waste piles prior to shipping to Coffin Butte to determine if hazardous materials were present. DEQ assessed a penalty of $10,199 for this violation.
During an inspection of the facility in June 2012, DEQ inspectors also discovered at least 15 five-gallon containers of hazardous waste paint and waste paint thinner. The lids were removed from the containers in order to allow the solvents to evaporate. However, at no time has the Port been permitted to treat hazardous waste at the facility. The Port must store and dispose of hazardous materials at a facility permitted to accept and treat the waste. DEQ assessed a penalty of $4,319 for this violation.
Determining whether wastes are hazardous is one of the cornerstones of the system established to ensure safe management and disposal of hazardous waste. Marine operations like the Port of Toledo are required to properly label, store and dispose of hazardous wastes to lessen the likelihood of release into the environment. Hazardous wastes can seriously impact the safety and health of people and wildlife.
The Port of Toledo has appealed the penalty.