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Monday, August 18, 2008

Gordon Smith's company still polluting Oregon waterway

Beth Slovic at Willamette Week is reporting that Gordon Smith's frozen food company has once again leaked pollutants into Pine Creek:
According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, an employee of Smith Frozen Foods contacted the state agency on July 29 (while the plant was processing corn) to report an overflow from the company's wastewater lagoon that "resulted in a milky discharge to Pine Creek." The plant — located in tiny Weston, Ore. — responded by placing portable pumps in the creek to remove the contaminated water, the DEQ says. On Aug. 4, the company submitted a "corrective action" plan to the DEQ, listing its efforts to clean the spill, prevent future ones and investigate the cause of the July 29 overflow.
According to Slovic's piece, the DEQ considers the incident a "Class 1" violation, which means it can "harm aquatic life, contaminate drinking waters, and impair recreational, commercial and agricultural uses of water." This would be considered a serious violation by the DEQ.

Smith's company has been cited over a handful of times, according to Slovic, for these types of environmental violations. A total of about $28,000 in fines have been levied so far, with more sure to come for this latest infraction.

It's ridiculous that Smith's company can't get its act together on this one. After having multiple violations over the years...why can't Smith get this company, which he's been in charge of years, to stop fouling the water in Oregon?


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