Philomath Construction Co. One of Many Fined by DEQ

In March, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued ten penalties for various environmental violations which totaled $381,697. 

These fines ranged from $4,800 to $223,440, with alleged violations including not submitting an industrial stormwater report and putting raw sewage into the Isthmus Slough; the latter offence caused commercial oyster beds in Coos Bay to close. 

J.H. Baxter & Co. wracked up the highest fine, a whopping $223,440 for violating both a hazardous waste law and a wastewater permit. Their offense was the only one in the land category. 

Most of these violations fell under the water category. 

Laskey-Clifton Corporation of Reedsport was fined $16,800 for the aforementioned sewage dump.  

Other entities with water violations included: K&E Excavating Inc., fined $8,400 for putting wastewater from a mine into the Burnt River without having a permit; the city of Adrian, fined $7,001 for not collecting wastewater monitoring data and then submitting the report required; Lejar Enterprises, LLC, fined $4,800 for not submitting a required industrial stormwater report; Ayman Haswah, fined $20,736 for polluting a local waterway by not implementing a plan to control erosion and sediment at a construction site; and the city of Portland for not implementing a plan to control industrial stormwater pollution. 

Closer to home, Philomath’s Steve Oien Construction was fined $7,815 for not implementing a plan to control erosion and sediment at a construction site 

The two entities fined for air pollution were Kruse Farms, Inc ($12,236) for openly burning prohibited materials close to the Umpqua River, and BACH Development ($74,469) for an asbestos abatement project that was not licensed. 

Those fined need to either pay or file an appeal within 20 days. However, funding an environmental project that improves the state’s environment may offset a portion of the fines.  

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By: Hannah Ramsey