Featured Stories

Tualatin pavement marking company hit with huge DEQ fines

Company has appealed six violations totaling more than $78,000

Tualatin's Specialized Pavement Marking Inc. was hit Thursday with the state Department of Environmental Services' biggest fine for June.

The pavement striping company that generates ignitable and toxic hazardous waste, including paint solvents and equipment-cleaning solvents, was fined $78,024 for hazardous waste violations ranging from improper storage and disposal to inadequate labeling and recordkeeping at its former facility, 1255 S.W. Tualatin-Sherwood Road, and its current facility, 11095 S.W. Industrial Way, both in Tualatin.

The company has appealed the penalties.

DEQ issued 14 penalties Thursday afternoon totaling $198,204 for June. To date, DEQ has issued 87 penalties totaling $906,481.

Specialized Pavement Marking's penalty was prompted by a July 29, 2005, DEQ inspection of its former facility after a fire and subsequent release of hazardous materials. As a result of the May 27, 2005, fire, hazardous substances generated and stored at the facility flowed into nearby Hedges Creek, and at least 255 fish died.

DEQ cited several hazardous waste violations at the old facility, noting particular concerns about the company's practice of storing large amounts of volatile hazardous wastes in open containers, which can spill hazardous materials.

During the second half of 2005, Specialized Pavement Marking moved its operations to a new location on Southwest Industrial Way in Tualatin. After the company failed to register the new location, DEQ inspected the new facility on Jan. 11 and found additional hazardous waste violations.

In total, Specialized Pavement Marking was assessed penalties for six hazardous violations among the two facilities:

--Failing to determine if wastes generated at both facilities (including ignitable waste paint, paint solids and spent propane cylinders) were hazardous ($18,743 penalty).

--Illegally disposing of about 24,000 pounds of hazardous waste (drums of hard residues from evaporated waste solvent and waste paint) over a four-year period from its former facility on Tualatin-Sherwood Road. The company allegedly disposed of the material at the Metro South Transfer Station, which is not permitted to accept hazardous waste from facilities generating more than 220 pounds per month ($21,367 penalty).

--Failing to file annual hazardous waste generation reports for its former facility from 2001 to 2005 and for its current facility in 2005 ($14,400 penalty).

--Illegally treating hazardous waste (allowing open containers of solvent flush to evaporate and solidify) at its current facility without a permit ($4,157 penalty).

--Failing to properly mark and date hazardous waste stored at its current facility ($12,932 penalty).

--Failing to properly label containers of flush waste and spent aerosol cans at its current facility ($6,425 penalty).