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The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued a penalty totaling $27,330 to RB Recycling Inc.

for repeated stormwater discharge permit violations at two of the company’s tire processing facilities in north Portland.

The violations occurred at RB Recycling facilities and occurred during the 2012-2013 stormwater monitoring period.  The Burgard facility operates under a DEQ issued permit, which allows it to discharge stormwater generated on the site into the nearby Willamette River under strict regulations. The Borthwick facility, while no longer processing tires, remains regulated under a similar permit while sources of contamination remain on site. The Borthwick facility discharges to the nearby Columbia Slough.

DEQ fined RB Recycling for numerous permit violations, including failing to monitor stormwater discharge for pollutants as required, failing to inspect its discharges for observable pollutants on a monthly basis and failing to take proper corrective action when its discharges exceeded allowable levels of certain pollutants. DEQ was especially concerned that these violations were repeated and have not been corrected despite the fact that the city of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services, which administers the two RB Recycling permits for the state, sent written warnings to the company in the past. Additionally, DEQ issued RB Recycling similar penalties for stormwater permit violations at the Borthwick Avenue facility in 2009 and 2012.

Approximately $3,500 of the penalty represents the estimated economic benefit RB Recycling gained by avoiding the costs of following permit terms as required.

Published in the May 2014 Edition of American Recycler News