Pollution Update

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) fined San Mateo, California-based J.H. Baxter & Co. Inc. $19,200 on May 8 for repeated Clean Water Act permit violations at its Eugene facility. Baxter’s discharges violated permit limits for pentachlorophenol in December 2015; January and December 2016; and January, February and November 2017. In addition, Baxter’s copper discharges violated its permit in April 2016 and November 2017. DEQ noted that “pentachlorophenol and copper are toxic to fish and other aquatic life” and that Baxter’s violations “may impair water quality in the area of [the company’s] stormwater discharge and downstream in Amazon Creek.” In addition to the fine, DEQ has ordered Baxter to increase monitoring and develop an operations and maintenance plan for its treatment system. Baxter’s pollution discharges are authorized by a DEQ-issued Clean Water Act permit that expired October 31, 2015.

Indigo Sherck/Oregon Clean Water Action Project