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Permit for wastewater plant under review by DEQ

Land use and the environment — Permit up for renewal and Newberg citizens can comment on it

The city of Newberg’s wastewater treatment plant’s main responsibility is taking the effluent from the city’s sewers, treating and dispensing of it in the Willamette River.

A byproduct of that process are solids that the plant processes through a facility that sterilizes it and mixes it with sawdust to produce a substance it sells to the public under the name Newgrow Compost.

And that’s where the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality gets involved because the composting process employs a rotary dryer to dry the sawdust, as well as an electrical generator used to power the plant during electrical emergencies.

Both the dryer and the generator produce emissions and require a DEQ air quality permit. The plant’s permit is lapsing and the DEQ is giving the public an opportunity to weigh in on its renewal.

Emissions from the facility primarily take the form of particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and, potentially, greenhouse gases.

The DEQ’s responsibility is to evaluate the types and amounts of pollutants, in the context of the facility’s location, and determine whether the permit meets state and federal regulations.

The city itself is responsible for adhering to the edicts of the permit and monitoring pollutants emitted from the facility; it keeps monthly records of hours of operation for the dryer and generator.

Those citizens who would like to comment on the city’s application for a renewed permit may email Patty Hamman at hamman.patricia@deq. state.or.us, fax their comments to 1-503-378-4196 or send mail to Patty Hamman, Air Quality Permit Coordinator, 4026 Fairview Industrial Drive S.E., Salem OR 97302.

Comments, due by April 4, will be reviewed and responded to by DEQ officials. The permit can be modified, within the confines of state and federal law, based on the comments received.

The draft permit may be viewed at www.deq.state.or/ news/publications/PN.asp or in person at DEQ offices in Salem or at the Newberg Public Library.