North Bend, OR (5/13/2019)- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality fined Main Rock Products Inc. $68,457 for a number of violations, including unpermitted discharges from its site that led to a marked increase in sediment in Kentuck Creek.
During an inspection in December 2018, turbidity—a measure of sediment in water — was 10,693 percent higher at the point of discharge into the creek than upstream from the discharge. The threshold allowed under Oregon state law is 10 percent.
DEQ also cited the facility for failing to collect sampling data in 2018 and for exposing pollutants to stormwater, including leaving fuel spills, used oil, chemicals, and large volumes of waste uncovered and in uncontained areas, and not having required spill response materials and equipment on site. Of the current penalty, $20,191 represents the economic benefit the facility gained by not controlling its sediment-laden stormwater over this rainy season.
DEQ is requiring the 50-acre facility to immediately stop all unpermitted discharges and to improve conditions at the site. DEQ will consider recalculating the fine if the company revises and implements its Stormwater Pollution Control Plan, performs monitoring and takes spill prevention measures.
The facility holds a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 1200-A general permit, which DEQ’s agent, the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, implements and administers. Such permits protect aquatic life and human health by requiring permit holders use best management practices and provide monitoring data that demonstrates permit compliance and shows the site is not violating water quality standards.
Kentuck Creek provides important habitat for aquatic life and fish, including the threatened Oregon Coast Coho salmon. Sediment can cause water quality to deteriorate and can harm aquatic life by covering up food sources, abrading
The company has until May 21 to appeal the penalty.
View the current enforcement letter at: https://www.oregon.gov/deq/nr/0429mainrock.pdf
Katherine Benenati, Public Affairs Specialist, Eugene, 541-686-7997, email@example.com