Grants Pass, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined Jefferson Caves Land Leasing LLC $23,039 for operating without a permit and allowing sediment from its property on Pinecrest Drive to reach waters of the state.
On several occasions this year, DEQ inspectors observed sediment from the property in an unnamed seasonal tributary of Lathrop Creek and in the creek as well.
Sediment deposits, like the one the unpermitted discharge caused, can degrade water quality and harm aquatic life. Of the penalty, $10,439 represents the economic benefit the company gained by failing to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit when construction started in 2016 and for not taking steps to prevent erosion and control sediment on site which the permit requires.
The company has until Oct. 24 to appeal the penalty.
View the enforcement letter at: www.oregon.gov/deq/nr/100917jefferson.pdf
Katherine Benenati, Public Affairs Specialist, Eugene, 541-686-7997, firstname.lastname@example.org