US EPA fines lumber producer D.R. Johnson of Riddle, Oregon, US$49,948 for Clean Water Act violations; company took immediate action after EPA inspection by installing treatment and updating its Stormwater Pollution Control Plan

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SEATTLE , October 17, 2023 (press release) –

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that D.R. Johnson of Riddle, Oregon, will pay $49,948 for violations of the Clean Water Act. 

Under the Clean Water Act, Oregon lumber facilities like D.R. Johnson are required to comply with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) Industrial Stormwater Discharge Permit which includes having a Stormwater Pollution Control Plan (SWPCP). 

As part of EPA’s collaborative effort to help oversee the industrial stormwater sector with ODEQ, EPA targeted inspections of predominant industries covered by the Permit. As a result, during a 2021 inspection, EPA found an area that discharged stormwater directly off-site and was not included in D.R. Johnson’s SWPCP. EPA discussed the unmonitored point of discharge with the facility, and the facility agreed to start quarterly water quality sampling as required by the permit. Sampling results indicated the facility exceeded the permitted water quality benchmarks.    

D.R. Johnson took immediate action by installing treatment and updating their SWPCP.   

“Industrial facilities must have stormwater pollution controls in place to protect our waters,” said EPA Region 10 Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Director Ed Kowalski. “We are pleased the company took swift action to improve their operations and prevent pollution — actions that will ultimately help our water quality in the Pacific Northwest.”  

Stormwater runoff from lumber facilities containing, zinc, copper and other pollutants when not treated and discharged directly into nearby waterbodies can cause significant harm to rivers, lakes and coastal waters. 

Additional details can be found in the Consent Agreement and Final Order. 

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