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Sheridan Oregon Company Faces Penalties, Again

Release Date: 10/24/1997
Contact Information: Jennifer MacDonald
macdonald.jennifer@epamail.epa.gov
(206) 553-8311 or 1 (800)424-4372


October 24, 1997 - - - - - - - 97-65


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking $218,900 in penalties for hazardous waste violations against Taylor Lumber & Treating, Inc. It's not the first time the Sheridan, Oregon company has run afoul of federal hazardous waste laws: In January, 1994, Taylor Lumber & Treating agreed to pay EPA a $70,000 civil penalty and undertake corrective action to address the facility's past releases of toxic chemicals to the environment.

Today's action, announced by Chuck Clarke, Regional Administrator of EPA's Seattle office, reflects the Agency's commitment to firm but fair enforcement.

"We stand ready to work with any company to implement a protective, effective and verifiable compliance schedule," said Clarke. "But make no mistake, if any company or individual breaks the law and pollutes the environment, they will be prosecuted and penalized."

Since 1967, Taylor has operated a sawmill and wood-treating facility. The chemicals used by the company to preserve wood include pentachlorophenol ("PCP"), creosote, and a chemonite solution containing arsenic acid, copper salts, and ammonia. The same characteristics that make these compounds good wood preservatives also make them hazardous to many life forms when released into the environment.

Based on investigations conducted at the Taylor Facility by EPA and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in March 1993, November 1993' and April 1996, inspectors noted that hazardous waste handling and disposal practices at the facility failed to comply with federal law.

"Maintaining a clean, safe and protective work environment is not only good business practice, it's the law," Clarke continued. "Companies that handle potentially harmful chemicals have a responsibility to both their workers and the community to take every precaution against spills and accidental releases."

The company has 30 days to respond in writing to the allegations in the complaint and may request a hearing to contest the allegations or arrange a settlement conference. The company neither confirms nor denies the allegations in the Complaint.