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Pollution Update 8-4-16

On July 26, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) fined Jason and Rachel Shannon $15,885 for illegally discharging sewage to the ground at their property on East Bolton Road in Veneta. DEQ also issued an order to the Shannons requiring them to connect to the city of Veneta’s sewer system by Aug. 31; to decommission their failing septic system within 10 days of connecting to the city system; and to immediately enter into a contract to have their septic tank pumped regularly until their system is decommissioned “in order to prevent further discharge of sewage to the ground.” DEQ’s notice to the Shannons notes the public health hazard posed by sewage. On July 25, DEQ fined Massachusetts-based Hollingsworth & Vose Fiber Company $2,600 for discharging almost 7,000 pounds more pollution to the Willamette River from its Corvallis plant than it is permitted to discharge in January 2015. Hollingsworth & Vose’s discharges of pollution to the Willamette take place pursuant to a Clean Water Act permit that DEQ issued to its predecessor, Evanite Fiber, in August of 2003. This permit expired over eight years ago. It’s also not clear why it took DEQ over a year and a half to fine Hollingsworth & Vose for the January 2015 violations.