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Chemical Waste Management receives fine for waste violations

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued $18,400 in penalties to Chemical Waste Management of the Northwest Inc. for permit violations at its hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility in Arlington.

The facility, which accepts hazardous wastes from throughout Oregon, the Northwest and beyond, operates under a DEQ-issued hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal permit. As part of the facility, the company operates an organic recovery unit, which treats soil and other media contaminated with petroleum products and other organics by indirectly heating the media to vaporize the contaminants.

DEQ learned of the violations after the company conducted an extensive, voluntary environmental audit and reported violations, as required in the permit, to DEQ.

Permit violations included:

  • Failing to ensure that hazardous waste sludge generated from the facility’s organic recovery unit met land disposal restrictions.
  • Failing to comply with permit conditions for operation of its organic recovery unit. Specifically, the company failed to monitor for leaks in the unit by failing to properly calibrate leak detection equipment.
  • Failing to comply with requirements outlined in its waste analysis plan for sampling wastes treated in the organic recovery unit. (DEQ did not assess a penalty for this violation.)

DEQ issued the penalties because strict adherence to terms of hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal permits is necessary for facilities handling such waste to ensure that the waste doesn’t pose a threat to public health or the environment. In calculating the penalties, DEQ acknowledged Chemical Waste Management’s prompt disclosure and investigation of the violations as well as steps taken to help prevent these violations from occurring in the future.