JANUARY 2010

Valley Brass and Aluminum penalized

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently issued a penalty of $7,382 to Valley Brass and Aluminum Inc., Salem, for illegally disposing of foundry sand waste that was contaminated with hazardous levels of lead.

DEQ had originally issued the penalty because the company stored piles of sand generated at the foundry on Hilfiker Road in Salem directly on the ground at its site, without cover and not contained. Valley Brass and Aluminum promptly corrected the violation by having the lead-contaminated waste sand treated to render it non-hazardous.

The penalty was for disposing of the hazardous waste at the Company site rather than at a permitted hazardous waste disposal site. DEQ also cited the Company for failing to determine if the waste was hazardous. Failing to determine whether wastes are hazardous often leads to illegal handling of hazardous wastes, which poses a threat to human health and the environment. DEQ did not assess a civil penalty to the company for this violation.

Valley Brass and Aluminum appealed the penalty and has presented additional information to DEQ. It is now negotiating with DEQ to settle the case.