Oregon environmental regulators have imposed an unusually big fine against a crude oil terminal on the Columbia River that violated its air quality permit.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued the $117,000 fine after the facility handled far more oil than it is permitted to.
Jenny Root is an environmental law specialist with DEQ. She says the fine is large because of the facility’s size and because owners were told they needed a new permit before increasing operations.
“This is a larger, more environmentally sophisticated company that appears to have adequate resources and expertise to avoid the violation,” says Root.
The facility is seeking a new permit to receive 1.8 billion gallons of crude oil. It is up for review with a public hearing on April 3rd in Clatskanie. The facility operates nearby.
Root says DEQ will not halt plant operations until a new permit is in place because the plant does not pose an imminent threat to human health or the environment.
Copyright 2014 Oregon Public Broadcasting