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Pollution Update 2016-11-10

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent the Walmart Supercenter on Olympic Street in Springfield a warning letter for hazardous waste law violations Oct. 3. This facility generates between 220 pounds and 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste per month, and the violations were discovered by DEQ during an unannounced Sept. 28 inspection. Violations cited by DEQ include failure to properly store and label hazardous waste, failing to conduct weekly inspections of waste, and failing to post emergency information. DEQ sent warning letters for hazardous waste law violations to the West Eugene and Newport Walmarts around the same time as the warning letter to the Springfield facility; however, we have yet to receive those letters from DEQ, despite having requested them over a month ago. Oregon’s public records law currently has no hard deadline for agencies to respond to public records requests, however Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has advised that 10 business days should be sufficient for most requests. Thank you to DEQ’s Christina Humphries for connecting us with the letter to the Springfield Walmart.