Environmental Protection

Oregon Orders Welding Co. to Correct Hazwaste Violations

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has penalized SEW of Oregon Inc., $19,136 and ordered the company to correct hazardous waste management, used oil management, and water quality regulation violations at its tanker truck welding and painting facility in Prineville.

SEW is Smith Equipment and Welding Supply.

The violations include failure to perform hazardous waste determinations, illegal disposal of hazardous waste, failure to immediately clean up a release of used oil, and operating a wastewater disposal system without a permit.

SEW was required to respond to the state agency's penalty notice and order by April 7, 2008. Because of its failure to do so, the agency entered a Final Order on April 14.

On April 16, 2007, the state conducted a compliance inspection at the facility and determined the company did not make hazardous waste determinations on its paint waste, distillation bottoms, and used oil filters. SEW failed to clean up visible releases of used oil around its used oil tank and around two 55-gallon drums of used oil in the facility's used oil storage area. In addition, oil and grease spills on the unpaved dirt area used for washing trucks had not been cleaned up.

Further, the company operated a truck washing station without a permit or having applied for a permit from October 2002 to May 21, 2007. During this period, the company discharged wastewater from truck washing activities directly to the ground. This wastewater contained detergents, oil, grease, and heavy metals.

Steps taken by SEW to correct some of the violations, including applying for a wastewater permit, were taken into consideration in determining the amount of the penalty. SEW appears to have corrected other violations as they submitted written documentation in a timely fashion saying the violations had been corrected.

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