Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Media Advisory: Meet Oregon’s new “clean fleet” of tows, tugs and dredgers Nov. 10

News Release
For release: Nov. 8, 2011
Media Advisory:  November 10, 2011
Meet Oregon’s new “clean fleet”            
 of Tows, Tugs and Dredgers
Tour highlights efforts to improve air quality and reduce 
fuel consumption by retrofitting regional shipping vessels

What:             The Columbia and Willamette Rivers, collectively one of the world’s busiest grain export waterways, are running a little more “green” thanks to efforts to retrofit and repower several heavy-duty diesel marine engines.

                        Join Congressman Earl Blumenauer and dignitaries from EPA, Oregon DEQ and from local shipping companies for a firsthand look at how Oregon’s marine freight industry has partnered with federal, state and local governments to lower fuel consumption and reduce emissions.

                       Take a tour of the vessels and discover how public and private partnerships and programs like Oregon’s clean diesel initiative have strengthened the region’s marine shipping industry. Learn more about upcoming federal initiatives for clean diesel projects in Oregon and Washington.

When:             1:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10

Where:           5 SE Madison, Portland
                        (At the Portland Fire Station on the Eastbank Esplanade)

         U.S. Congressional Representative Earl Blumenauer, Oregon, 3rd District
         Maye Thompson, Environmental Health Program Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility
         Dick Pedersen, Director, Oregon DEQ
         Dennis McLerran, Regional Administrator, EPA Region X
         Bill Wyatt, Executive Director, Port of Portland
         Dennis McVicker, Tidewater CEO

Oregon DEQ Contacts:
Kevin Downing: Air Quality Division, Clean Diesel Initiative, 503-229-6549
William Knight: Office of Communications & Outreach, 503-229-5680; Cell: 503-757-1889

DEQ is a leader in protecting, restoring and maintaining Oregon’s environment.

Friday, October 28, 2011

$10,000 Penalty For Hazardous Waste Violations

News Release
For release: Oct. 26, 2011

Gunderson LLC Receives $10,000 Penalty For Hazardous Waste Violations

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued shipbuilder and railroad equipment manufacturer Gunderson LLC a total of $10,000 in penalties for hazardous waste violations at its facility at 4350 NW Front St. in Portland. The company was cited for similar violations at the same site in 2008, for violations documented in 2006.
The penalties stemmed from a September 2010 inspection DEQ conducted at the facility, which generates at least 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste on a monthly basis and is categorized as a large-quantity hazardous waste generator. Penalties included:
  • Failing to determine if some of the ignitable paint and solvent residue wastes generated at the facility were hazardous ($3,800 penalty)
  • Failing to properly mark containers storing hazardous waste with the date on which it first began accumulating ($2,200 penalty)
  • Failing to properly close containers of corrosive and toxic wastes, as required ($2,100 penalty)
  • Failing to store waste mercury-containing fluorescent lamps in closed and structurally sound containers that were adequate to prevent breakage ($1,900 penalty)

Failure to properly categorize and manage hazardous waste can lead to environmental contamination and can expose employees and others to toxic substances.
In addition to the formal penalties, DEQ cited Gunderson LLC for several other violations but did not assess penalties for them:
  • Failing to properly label waste mercury-containing fluorescent lamps
  • Storing used oil in containers without labeling the containers with the words “used oil”
  • Failing to label hazardous waste containers with the words “hazardous waste”

In assessing the penalties, DEQ considered steps the company has taken to correct the violations. Gunderson LLC has appealed the penalties and has met with DEQ to work toward a final settlement.
DEQ is a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing  the quality of Oregon’s air, land and water.
Jay Collins, Hazardous Waste Inspector, Gresham, 503-667-8414, ext. 55025
Brian White, Communications, Portland, 503-229-6044
Sarah Wheeler, Environmental Law Specialist, Portland, 503-229-6927

Monday, October 17, 2011

Waste Water Wisdom: Mobile Water Treatment Solutions

Waste Water Wisdom: Mobile Water Treatment Solutions: Mobile wastewater treatment systems provide an environmentally safer and economically cheaper solution to on-site wastewater treatment cent...

Mobile Water Treatment Solutions

Mobile wastewater treatment systems provide an environmentally safer and economically cheaper solution to on-site wastewater treatment centers for local businesses. Before the availability of the mobile treatment center, the only other viable option was to have the contaminated water hauled away. In addition to the high cost of hauling oily wastewater to a off-site treatment center, the transportation requires an understanding of the government regulations, licensing requirements and discharge permits.

The key to the device is a state -of-the-art membrane that can filter out the oils from the water without becoming clogged or contaminated. In most cases, the treated water is clean enough for industrial reuse or to be discharged into the sanitary sewer. The concentrated amounts of oily sludge left over can then be hauled away by EBS at less expense. This type of treatment can reduce the waste stream by up to 95% and decrease the customers liability for travel with wastewater on public roads.

If you have thoughts or questions about mobile water treatment please feel free to leave your comment below or contact us at
Onsite-Mobile Wastewater Treatment System

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sewage spills into Cedar Mill Creek

The Beaverton Valley Times, Jul 28, 2011

Public asked to avoid contact with water in creek and pond

A blocked sewer line caused a sewage spill Thursday into a pond that flows into Cedar Mill Creek in Portland’s West Hills.

Region's water supplies not prone to tainting like Portland's was by one man's action

— Accidents can happen, as the people of Portland, Ore., know all too well.
But overall, Southwest Florida utilities officials are confident in the security of the local drinking water supply.
...In Portland, officials decided to drain a 7.5 million gallon open-air reservoir after a man urinated in the reservoir. Others thought this was unnecessary, considering ducks regularly defecated in the treated water reservoir, which goes directly to residents’ faucets.

Wilsonville caps sewage treatment plant debt at $42 million

Published: Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 3:40 PM
WILSONVILLE -- City Councilors approved a $42 million debt ceiling Monday night to pay for improvements to Wilsonville’s sewage treatment plant.

City Financial Director Gary Wallis now expects sewer rates will increase by 40 percent,
about $15 for the average home. The hikes will be phased in over three years.