Oregon Lumber Mill Cited for Toxic Chemical Leaks and Violations

Sanders Wood Products Company in Liberal, Ore., was found to have a series of PCB leaks and other violations of federal PCB laws at its lumber mill, according to a settlement reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company will pay over $108,000 in penalties.

“There are clear standards for how to manage toxic chemicals like PCBs so they don’t harm people or the environment,” said Scott Downey, Manager of the Pesticides and PCBs Unit in EPA’s Seattle office. “This dangerous family of chemicals accumulates in the body and can be extremely difficult and expensive to clean up.”

During an inspection in 2009, an EPA inspector identified leaks in three PCB-containing transformers. Federal law requires repair, containment or replacement of leaking transformers containing polychlorinated biphenyls, commonly known as PCBs. In addition, the transformers were not properly maintained and lacked necessary labels.

PCBs are known carcinogens and can harm the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems. Congress banned PCBs in 1979, but they may be present in products and materials produced before the ban including electrical transformers, capacitors, oil used in motors, oil-based paint, plastics and insulation.

As part of the settlement, the company confirmed it has removed the leaking transformers from the facility. The areas where the PCBs leaked have also been cleaned up. The company has also certified it is currently in compliance with all applicable requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act at each of its facilities.

Download Center

  • Your Guide to Environmental Metrics that Drive Performance

    Translating sustainability into action starts with implementing the right metrics to assess your environmental risk and performance. Learn how to design metrics that improve your decision-making process and drive enterprise performance.

  • Unpacking ESG: 6 Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

    Environmental and Sustainability experts from Arcadis and Cority answer 6 of the most pressing questions EHS professionals have about getting started with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

  • Streamline Your Air Emissions Management

    See how consolidating all your emissions management functions into one centralized system can help you streamline your operations, more easily maintain compliance, and achieve greater time and cost savings.

  • A Crash Course in Creating the Right Environmental Scoring System

    Learn how to develop the right environmental scoring system so you can easily benchmark performance across all your facilities and gain a holistic view of your environmental programs.

  • Industry Safe