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Port of Astoria Fined $36,916 For Stormwater Violations

Jul 27, 2016

, Statesman Journal

State environmental regulators have fined the Port of Astoria $36,916 for violating its stormwater discharge permits.

It’s the third time in three years the port has been penalized for stormwater violations.

The port failed to conduct required stormwater monitoring at its Central Waterfront and Tongue Point facilities during the 2014-2015 monitoring year and failed to file required reports, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said in its order.

“Monitoring stormwater discharge is essential for DEQ to determine whether the port's stormwater treatment technology is adequate to control pollutants," DEQ wrote. “Without monitoring data, DEQ cannot analyze potential harmful environmental consequences from stormwater discharge.”

At the Tongue Point facility, the port is required to monitor for pH, total suspended solids, oil and grease, total copper, total lead, total zinc, total iron, chemical oxygen demand, total aluminum, total cadmium, total nickel and total chromium.

At the Central Waterfront facility, the port is required to monitor for pH, total suspended solids, oil and grease, total copper, total lead, total zinc, total iron, total aluminum, total cadmium, total nickel, total chromium, total arsenic, e. coli bacteria, PCB, and DDT metabolite.

For both permits, the port turned in its monitoring reports in November 2015, four months late, and they showed that the port had not completed all required sampling.

DEQ previously penalized the port in 2013 and in 2015 for failing to comply with stormwater monitoring requirements.

The port has until Aug. 11 to appeal the penalty. Executive Director Jim Knight said the port likely would appeal.

The pattern of problems points to challenges with previous staff, before he took over in November 2014, Knight said.

“We’re essentially dealing with older issues that certainly impacted the port years ago but that spilled over even into today,” he said.

Since then the port has added employees with experience working on environmental issues and has hired a consulting company to help it make sure the port is in compliance with DEQ regulations, Knight said.

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