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Portland, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a total of $12,800 in civil penalties ($4800 on August 4, and an additional $8000 on September 15) to American Petroleum Environmental Services, Inc, for missing the July 25, 2017, deadline for installing and operating a thermal oxidizer at their facility in North Portland. APES installed the thermal oxidizer on August 22. APES operates an oil rerefining operation where used oil is recycled to make products.

The rerefining operation emits pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds. APES and their partner company Clear Lube Re Refining Co., voluntarily entered into a Mutual Agreement and Final Order with DEQ in December 2016. It required the company to install and operate a thermal oxidizer to control volatile organic compound emissions from the facility's oil rerefining operations; conduct stack testing to measure and verify emissions after the thermal oxidizer installation; shutdown a portion of the plant; and submit an application to DEQ to modify their permit to include additional requirements for new controls.

In the spring of 2017, DEQ began the process of reviewing APES permit modification application and application for a new solid waste transfer permit. As part of the public engagement process, DEQ held a public information meeting on March 7 to discuss the contents of the applications before drafting the permits. After draft permits were developed, DEQ held a public hearing on June 21 to receive input on the drafts.

DEQ has been notified that American Petroleum Environmental Services, Inc., has been acquired by Ecolube Recovery, LLC, a subsidiary of CLRR. A transfer application from APES and ELR memorializing the change was received on September 20. DEQ has completed its review of comments and is issuing the modified and renewed air quality permit and new solid waste transfer station permit to Ecolube Recovery, LLC, dba American Petroleum Environmental Services, Inc. The new air quality permit incorporates more stringent monitoring, recordkeeping, testing and reporting requirements, and requires the operation and maintenance of the thermal oxidizer at all times during plant operation. DEQ will verify compliance with this permit during unannounced inspections and through review of submitted reports.

The new air quality permit also requires that APES complete stack testing 60 days after issuance to confirm that the new thermal oxidizer is meeting the required destruction efficiency. DEQ staff will be present during stack testing to confirm that the test follows United States Environmental Protection Agency standards. The solid waste permit authorizes the facility to accept oily debris (including fabric and granular absorbent materials) for transfer to a final disposal location, used antifreeze for transfer to a recycling facility, and used oil filters for onsite material recovery of used oil and metal. The permit requires that the APES follow a DEQ approved operations plan, maintain roads and equipment, manage runoff, minimize offsite dust, and provide annual reports of waste processed. DEQ will verify compliance through periodic inspections and records reviews.

For additional information, visit DEQ's Portland North Harbor webpage here:

Media Contacts:
Matthew Van Sickle, Public Information Officer, DEQ, 503-229-6044
Jennifer Flynt, Public Information Officer, DEQ, 503-229-6585,


Environment & Energy