On Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality obtained a Temporary Restraining Order against NW Metals, which requires it to correct the violations at the site through the steps described below.
Since the NW Metals fire in March 2018, DEQ has attempted through various informal and formal enforcement pathways to get NW Metals into regulatory compliance. NW Metals has challenged DEQ requirements and penalties, all of which have been upheld in court.
Sufficient progress towards compliance has not been made and NW Metals continues to pose a threat to public and environmental health and safety.
By obtaining the order, the Multnomah County district Court can compel NW Metals to comply with DEQ’s Removal Action Order immediately. Compliance would ensure that the facility follows DEQ’s order and the actions described below to ensure there is no further impact to the environment or public health.
DEQ also filed a civil complaint in District court which asks the court to, require NW Metals to do all of the above but also to:
- Immediately cease shredding waste tires
- Store all tires in accordance with standards within 10 days
- Cease operations of prohibited underground injection systems within 10 days
- Submit an air quality permit application for all shredders within 10 days
- Implement the work plan and submit documentation to DEQ demonstrating completion within 20 days
- Submit a plan to DEQ for approval demonstrating how storm water runoff will be contained within 10 days and implement that plan within 30 days of approval
- Reimburse DEQ for its “remedial action costs” incurred to respond the disaster at the NW Metals site
If NW Metals fails to comply with the requirements outlined above, the operator will be found in contempt of court, which could result in jail time.