Fluoride Action Network

How Intel’s $143,000 fluoride fine stacks up against DEQ’s largest penalties

Source: The Oregonian | April 25th, 2014 | By Katherine Driessen
Location: United States, Oregon
Industry type: Electronics Industry

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s $143,000 fine to Intel for a fluoride reporting mistake is the third highest penalty the agency has issued for an air quality violation since 1998.

Across all DEQ departments, Intel’s fine ranks as the 20th largest during that time frame, according to a DEQ spreadsheet.

Intel’s fine came after it surfaced last fall that the company had failed to report its fluoride emissions and obtain the necessary permit at its Washington County operation. Thursday’s fine also faults the company for operating without a needed permit at its Hillsboro D1X facility.

Here are the top five air quality fines since 1998 (and the full list):

  1. Eagle-Picher Minerals, Inc: $303,169 in 2002 for a violation in Vale where the company operated a mineral processing plant without a federal air pollution emission permit, called a Title 5 (the same permit Intel was seeking when the fluoride issue was dislcosed).
  2. Ash Grove Cement Company: $179,300 in 2005 for exceeding and failing to report carbon monoxide emission limits more than 100 times over two years in Durkee.
  3. Intel: $143,000 for failing to report its fluoride emissions, obtain a permit for those emissions and beginning construction at D1X without the correct permit.
  4. Cascade Kelly Holdings LLC, dba Columbia Pacific B: $117,292 in 2014 for operating a new crude oil transloading operation without an Air Contaminant Discharge Permit. The violation occurred at a Columbia Pacific Bio Reifnery facility in Clatskanie.
  5. Lynne Timmerman: $100,000 to the Pendleton resident in 2000 for lighting on fire a pile of creosote-treated railroad ties near Helix and then refusing to extinguish it, according to the state.

Here are the top five civil penalties issued across all DEQ departments since 1998 (and a list of the top 50 violations):

  1. Cain Petroluem, Inc: $1.4 million in 2002 for failing to investigate and clean up petroleum releases from underground storage tank systems at nine company owned or operated properties. This remains the record DEQ civil penalty assessed. But the final penalty the company paid was $118,901, according to DEQ records.
  2. Kinzua Resources, LLC and partners: $790,062 for failing to “provide financial assurance for closure and post-closure maintenance” at Pilot Rock Sawmill Wood Waste Landfill in Pilot Rock in 2013, according to DEQ.
  3. City of Portland: $606,800 for “violating state water quality standards by allowing numerous sewage discharges into Willamette River and several streams flowing into the Willamette.” according to DEQ. The city eventually paid DEQ $117,320 after agreeing to fund four water quality and fish passage improvements worth more than $500,000. The fine was issued in 2005.
  4. Lehman Development; Lehman Hot Springs; John Patrick Lucas: $532,275 for wastewater violations at the now-closed Lehman Hot Springs Resort east of Ukiah in 2010. “Most of the violations have involved improper sewage storage and sewage discharges into Warm Spring Creek,” according to DEQ.
  5. Caleb Siaw, M.D.: $373,580 for “violating order to repair failing onsite (septic) system at Forest Lake Resort mobile home park by failing to submit information required for permit” in 2001, according to DEQ.