Recycler fined for landfilling hazardous soil

Oregon DEQ fines Pacific Recycling for landfilling hazardous material.

February 26, 2014
Recycling Today Staff
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) says it has fined Pacific Recycling Inc., Eugene, Ore., $2,400 for failing to conduct a required hazardous waste determination on excavated soil it sent to area landfills. The soil came from a property the company purchased in 2011 that sits adjacent to Pacific Recycling’s metal recycling facility in Eugene.

According to the DEQ, in September and October of 2013, Pacific Recycling began excavating a site adjacent to its recycling facility. The site was a former wood treatment facility that used hazardous chemicals, including arsenic and chromium.

Pacific Recycling took about 368 tons of soil from the adjacent property to Coffin Butte Landfill under an inaccurate approval–called a waste profile–for petroleum-contaminated soil rather than soil contaminated with wood-treating chemicals, the DEQ asserts. 

Pacific Recycling also disposed of about 500 tons of soil from the old wood treatment site at Short Mountain Landfill, but upon request from DEQ and with DEQ oversight, Pacific Recycling took samples and submitted a risk-based evaluation of the soils to confirm that the soil was safe for disposal at a nonhazardous landfill, the DEQ says. 

However, according to the DEQ, it was too late to recover and test the soil sent to Coffin Butte to make the same determination. Regardless, because it was contaminated with wood-preserving chemicals, the soil is considered hazardous until a proper waste determination is performed, the agency adds. 

DEQ also cited but did not penalize Pacific Recycling for disposing of a hazardous waste at a nonhazardous waste facility and transporting a hazardous waste without a manifest.