The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued more than $17,600 in penalties to Joshua Michael Smith, who operates an auto wrecking business in White City, Ore., for solid waste disposal violations and failure to clean up spills of used oil and other automotive fluids on site.
The penalties also include violations for open burning of prohibited materials and maintaining a discarded tire storage site without a permit.
The penalties stem from a Feb. 25, 2013, DEQ inspection of what the agency calls an unpermitted auto wrecking facility. At that time, DEQ discovered what it says were numerous violations concerning improper management of solid and hazardous waste, spills and open burning.
The Oregon DEQ says the penalties were handed out because of the “cumulative violations posing a significant environmental and human health threat” that “may adversely affect surface and groundwater.”
The agency continues, “Spilled oil may increase the risk of fire and when inhaled or absorbed in the skin may cause headaches, dizziness and more severe health problems. Improperly burned waste residues emit dense smoke and noxious odors, which are not only a public nuisance but a possible health hazard for the young, elderly and those with respiratory distress.”
The state has ordered Smith to follow through on corrective actions by July 31.