The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a $4,684 penalty to the president of Western Oregon Waste, which operates the Astoria Transfer Station, for a violation of the facility's stormwater discharge permit.

Robert John Emrick, a resident of McMinnville, was listed as holder of the facility's stormwater discharge permit at the time of the violations. DEQ penalized Emrick for failing to collect all required samples of the transfer station's discharges during the 2008-09 monitoring year. DEQ also alleges that Emrick failed to conduct all required visual monitoring of discharges, as required by the permit. The transfer station, located at 1790 Williamsport Road, serves as a refuse system facility for the northern Oregon coast.

DEQ cited Emrick for another violation: failure to submit the facility's discharge monitoring report to DEQ by its July 31, 2009 deadline. DEQ did not assess a penalty for this violation.

DEQ issued the penalty because discharge monitoring helps ensure that discharges meet pollution benchmarks set forth in the permit. Failure to meet the benchmarks may indicate the presence of harmful levels of industrial pollutants that could enter public rivers and streams. These discharges can damage aquatic species and their habitat and reduce the safety of public waters for public use.

Robert John Emrick has appealed the penalty.

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