Oregon DEQ fines metals recycler

Agency claims that company failed to collect stormwater samples.

March 12, 2014
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined Mid Valley Metal Recycling $4,447 for failing to collect required stormwater samples at the company’s Springfield, Ore., facility. In assessing the fine, the DEQ said that during the 2012-2013 season the company failed to test stormwater for pollutants in accordance with the company’s permit.

In addition to testing for common pollutants found in stormwater, the company also is responsible for testing for chemical oxygen demand, total aluminum and total iron. However, no tests were performed, according to Oregon DEQ.

Testing is required because of the activity conducted by Mid Valley Metal Recycling at the facility. The company accepts, stores and processes scrap metal containing aluminum and iron. In addition, other types of byproducts from the company’s activities can disrupt the available oxygen in the water, potentially harming fish and other aquatic wildlife.

DEQ issued this penalty because monitoring stormwater discharge is essential in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the actions the company is taking to eliminate or reduce the amount of pollution flowing from the property. In addition, without monitoring it is impossible to analyze and identify possible harm to the environment or a threat to public health.