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Pollution Update 12-27-12

Nine more local facilities’ industrial stormwater pollution control plans are up for public comment this week. These plans are for facilities that have applied for Clean Water Act permit coverage under the new industrial stormwater permit issued by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and that took effect July 1. Comments are due by 5 pm on Jan. 3. The facilities (all located in Eugene) are: Pierce Fittings, Precision Machine & Mfg, Rear’s Mfg, Peterson Pacific Corp, Quality Metal Finishing, Pennington Crossarm Co, Pacific Recycling, Parker-Hannifin Corp, and Real Wood Products. Visit wkly.ws/1e5 to see stormwater plans, and wkly.ws/1e1 to comment.

During the past year’s reporting period, which ended July 1, Pacific Recycling’s discharges exceeded permit benchmarks for suspended solids, copper, lead and zinc, including a copper discharge of over seven times the benchmark in their current permit. That copper discharge exceeded the benchmark in the new permit (the permit for which they’re applying for coverage) by 37 times. The worst results are from Dec. 28, 2011.

DEQ sent Norpac Foods, Inc. a pre-enforcement notice on Dec. 13 for illegally allowing food processing wastewater to discharge to waters of the state at its Stayton food processing plant on Nov. 14. The wastewater discharged to a roadside ditch that flowed to the Santiam River. In referring the violation to DEQ’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement for formal enforcement, Senior Water Quality Specialist Robert Dicksa noted that Norpac’s violation might have caused significant environmental harm. Norpac’s permit expired in April of 2000, and has been administratively extended by DEQ. Norpac owns the Santiam and Flav-R-Pac brands.