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

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