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2008 News Releases


DEQ, EPA Collect Hazardous Flood Debris from Nehalem River near Vernonia and Mist

Release Date: 04/02/2008
Contact Information: Contacts: Bruce Gilles, DEQ Cleanup and Emergency Response Manager, 503-667-8414, ext. 55009 Marcia Danab, DEQ Communications and Outreach, Portland, 503-229-6488 Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, Seattle, 206-553-1203

Household hazardous waste collection April 5 through April 7 in Vernonia

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are working under a Unified Command to characterize, safely remove and dispose of oil and other orphaned hazardous materials and containers that were left in place following the December flood in the Nehalem River Valley in the vicinity of Vernonia and Mist Oregon.

Monday, DEQ and EPA staff identified approximately 40 containers that need removal. Collection of this waste and any additional hazardous materials will start today in and along approximately 30 miles of the Nehalem River.

Local residents can call the Vernonia Public Works Department at     503-429-5291, extension 105, with information about any hazardous materials along the river that need to be removed or hazardous items that have floated into neighborhoods. This effort is being conducted free of charge to protect the health of residents, clean-up crews and the environment.  

Hazardous waste collection contractors will also receive flood related household hazardous waste.  Local residents can bring household hazardous waste to the Volunteer Center located at 998 Bridge Street across from Vernonia City Hall.

The household hazardous waste collection event will be held 10 a.m. until     2 p.m. on Saturday, April 5; Sunday, April 6; and Monday, April 7.

Household hazardous waste includes unused or leftover portions of products used in the home that contain toxic chemicals. Products labeled Caution, Warning, Danger, Poison, Toxic, Flammable or Corrosive are considered hazardous.

Some examples of household hazardous wastes that will be collected include:

    • Aerosols
    • Antifreeze
    • Auto Batteries
    • Auto Fluids
    • Disinfectants
    • Fertilizer    · Latex / Oil-Based Paint
    • Pesticides
    • Pool Chemicals
    • Propane Tanks – less than 30 gallons
    • Solvents
    • Used Oil and Oil Filters
Report other potentially hazardous flood related materials such as drums, tanks or items needing special care to EPA at 503-429-5291, extension 105 and contractors will come and collect those items.

DEQ and EPA greatly appreciate the assistance of many local agencies including the Upper Nehalem Watershed Council, City of Vernonia Public Works, Columbia County Road Department and Jim Presley and Dick Titus who are donating the collection location.