DEQ Issues $3,137 Penalty to Mt. Hood Forest Products LLC for Stormwater Runoff Permit Violation at its Hood River Facility
HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a $3,137 penalty to Mt. Hood Forest Products, LLC, for failing to collect and analyze samples of stormwater runoff at its facility at 4865 State Highway 35 in Hood River. Mt. Hood’s failure to conduct the monitoring violates its stormwater discharge permit.
On Nov. 19, 2008, the company submitted a report to DEQ indicating that it did not include stormwater sample analyses for the monitoring year July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008. Conditions of the company’s permit require collection of two samples during the monitoring year and submission of sampling and visual monitoring data by July 15 of each monitoring year.
On Jan. 16, 2009, Pyxis Laboratories LLC, informed DEQ that due to its error, a sample collected by Mt. Hood Forest Products on March 28 and submitted to Pyxis’ laboratory for analysis, was never analyzed.
Monitoring stormwater discharge is critical to determine whether the discharge meets the permit’s water quality benchmarks. Failure to meet these benchmarks indicates industrial pollutants are entering streams and rivers and requires the permittee to evaluate probable causes and solutions to the elevated pollutant concentrations. These discharges can pose a risk to aquatic species and their habitat and may affect the safety of public waters for public use.
Stormwater runoff from land and areas such as paved streets, parking lots and building rooftops during rainfall and snow events often contain pollutants that could adversely affect water quality. Stormwater discharge permits are required for construction, industrial activities and municipalities exceeding 50,000 residents if stormwater from rain or snowmelt leaves a site through a natural or human-made conveyance (pipes, culverts, ditches, catch basins, channels) and reaches surface waters either directly or through storm drainage.
The permitting program provides the public with an opportunity to review all new and renewal permit applications and stormwater pollution control plans that describe the control of stormwater at the site.
Mt. Hood Forest Products has appealed the penalty.