News Release: Oregon Oils, Inc. agrees to pay the City over $500,000 in fines and charges and to upgrade its pollution prevention systems
(July 2, 2019) - The City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services announces that Oregon Oils, Inc. will pay $538,500 to resolve discharge permit violations at its processing facility located at 2515 NW 29th Avenue in Portland.
Of that total, $238,500 are civil penalties and $300,000 are sewer-related charges. The penalties and fees are the largest amount recovered by Environmental Services’ environmental compliance program.
Oregon Oils neither admits nor denies the findings that were the basis of the City’s 2018 enforcement action.
Oregon Oils operates a Northwest Portland plant that collects and processes fats, oils, and grease from area restaurants. Oregon Oils and other processing facilities are required by federal law to pretreat their wastewater before discharging into the City system. Pretreatment prevents clogs to City pipes and resulting sewage overflows.
As a condition of the agreement, the company will also upgrade its pretreatment equipment and improve the City’s access to monitor the company’s discharges. Both of those steps will be required before the company can resume discharging wastewater into the City sewer system.
In a separate criminal investigation handled by the Oregon State Police, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon Oils pled guilty last month to two misdemeanor counts of Water Pollution in the Second Degree (ORS 468.943). The company was sentenced to 24 months’ probation and the standard condition to “obey all laws.” In addition, the sentencing included a special condition that Oregon Oils must comply with the terms of the City’s agreement, including the payment of all imposed fines and fees, as well as undertaking infrastructure improvements and procedural changes to better ensure future compliance.
Attachment: Voluntary Compliance Agreement - BES-Oregon Oils
The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with programs to protect water quality and public health, including wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration. For news updates, follow @BESPortland on Twitter and visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/news
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Media Contact: Diane Dulken, 503-457-7636, firstname.lastname@example.org