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Dillard, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined Roseburg Forest Products Co. $8,400 for three separate spills that allowed oil to reach the South Umpqua River.

The largest of the spills, which involved 285 gallons of hydraulic oil, occurred after a dryer fire at the facility on Jan. 21, 2017. The oil mixed with about 8,000 gallons of deluge water and dryer wash water into the stormwater system and entered the river from there.

The other spills took place on Jan. 31 and Feb. 3. On Jan. 31, an employee wetting down the floor where lubricating oil had previously spilled washed about a quart of the oil mixed with wash water into the stormwater system which carried it to the river. The Feb. 3 release took place after another dryer fire. In that case, about a gallon of hydraulic oil mixed with about 17 gallons of deluge water and dryer wash water and went into the stormwater system. From there it entered the river where a sheen was observed on Feb. 4.

Oil and other petroleum products can harm aquatic life and ecosystems. Multiple spills can have an even greater impact.

When determining the fine, DEQ considered the company’s efforts to contain, clean up and report the spills.

The company didn’t appeal the penalty.

View the enforcement letter:

Katherine Benenati, Public Affairs Specialist, Eugene, 541-686-7997,

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