JUNE 2009

Auto salvage business fined for operating without a stormwater permit

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued a $9,061 penalty to Regan A. Cummins, doing business as Goshen Auto Recyclers, for operating an auto dismantling and salvaging business without an industrial stormwater permit. The business is located in Eugene.

Cummins has operated Goshen Auto Recyclers since September 2007. Because of the type of business activity at the site, including the distribution of wholesale or retail used motor vehicle parts, the business is required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 1200-Z permit. The permit addresses stormwater discharges coming off the property and helps ensure that appropriate stormwater control measures are in place to protect water quality and minimize the amount of industrial pollutants exposed to stormwater that could enter public rivers and streams.

Stormwater from Goshen Auto Recyclers discharges along Highway 99 South into a drainage ditch, which ends in the Coast Fork of the Willamette River.

DEQ originally sent a letter to Cummins in January 2008, stating that the business required a permit. DEQ requested that the business submit a permit application, land use compatibility statement and stormwater control plan by January 2008 or a no exposure certification application if Cummins believed a permit was not needed. DEQ received no response. DEQ sent another letter to Cummins in September 2008, requesting that the business apply for the necessary permit within 30 days. After DEQ attempted to work with Cummins to deal with his concerns about keeping his business open during an economic downtown and permit fee costs, Cummins still did not apply to DEQ for a permit. With no response, DEQ notified Cummins in January 2009 that the violation was being referred for formal enforcement. Cummins applied for the permit on April 20, 2009.

In calculating the penalty, DEQ computed that Cummins gained $2,461 in economic benefit by failing to apply for and pay for the necessary permit. Cummins appealed the penalty on April 20 and has requested a contested case hearing.