The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined a Eugene Springfield sewage treatment company for a spill that occurred during a harsh February storm.
Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission was fined $7,800 dollars for releasing approximately 54,000 gallons of sludge into a drainage ditch connected to Flat Creek. The reason for the overflow was a pump failure caused by a power outage. Esther Westbrook is a Compliance and Enforcement Officer for the Oregon DEQ.
Westbrook: "So they kind of operated under their normal operating procedures. And so the bio-solids facility doesn't have staff there over the weekend, and so during the outage had they taken some additional precautionary measures like sending some staff over there to make sure everything was working properly, it could have been prevented."
Westbrook says MWMC cleaned up the spill as soon as they found out about it and there was no evidence of any health risks to the public. She says the facility installed new equipment to help prevent future spills. Positive cooperation and conditions of the storm were taken into consideration when issuing the penalty amount.
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