The Lincoln County Commissioner has approved a reimbursement request for already completed cleanup work at a contaminated salvage yard between Newport and Toledo, allowing the county to proceed with a full restoration of the site.
Lincoln County obtained deeds from the 2011 tax foreclosure list in 2017 for King Salvage located off Highway 20, approximately half a mile east of Fruitvale Road. The approximately 8.5-acre site has operated as a salvage yard for 30 years and was under oversight by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the US Environmental Protection Agency for more than a decade prior to its foreclosure.
According to the Oregon DEQ Environmental Cleanup Site Database, the property consisted of two lots, the smaller one containing a two-story residence and the larger one undergoing salvage operations. diesel fuel.
The salvage portion also housed numerous vehicles in various stages of demolition, including trucks, buses, light vehicles, recreational camper trailers, and motor homes. Stockpiled appliances and refrigerators. Stockpiled car and truck tires. Some of them contain metal rims. barn barrels; piles of rubble and waste; several heating fuel storage tanks. A number of unlabeled 55-gallon, 5-gallon, and under-5-gallon containers are stored in various conditions and assumed volume levels of recovered motor oil and kerosene.
The state’s environmental watchdog was first alerted to the property in November 2000 by the Oregon Department of Transportation, which filed a complaint about the site releasing oil. A DEQ inspection confirmed oil contamination and severely affected soil near the car crusher. It was added to the ‘confirmed emissions’ list in 2001, and in 2006 he demanded that DEQ take enforcement action, impose fines on owners and reduce hazardous waste emissions.
According to the DEQ database, a fire broke out at the site in April 2007, and when Toledo firefighters arrived, about 700 tires (out of tens of thousands on the site) and at least one vehicle were on fire. I found that there is The fire department used approximately 44,000 gallons of water to extinguish the blaze and may have spread toxic substances into the surrounding environment in an attempt to control the spill.
When DEQ inspectors visited the site in 2008 to assess compliance with the 2006 enforcement action and another 2007 enforcement action (total fines of $55,000), they noted that “King Salvage has It was clear that very little effort was being put into it,” said one person. His October 2008 Departmental Memo to the EPA. According to the memo, there remained a large amount of waste, numerous vehicles, tires, car batteries, and dozens of suspect oil containers (many of these containers of “questionable integrity”).
Of particular concern was the vicinity of the crusher, which saw continuous leaks of oil and other liquids from the engine, its hydraulic system, and/or the crushed vehicle that had been dumped into the soil. Inspectors also noted an unnamed tributary flowing through the site down the access road. It is especially common near crushers and leads to the Depot He Beaver He Creek, which flows into Slough before joining the Yaquina River near Toledo.
After determining that additional enforcement action against its owners was unlikely to have a different outcome, DEQ’s memo to the EPA suggested that oil pollution should be removed to prevent impacts on Beaver Creek, a productive salmon spawning river. We asked the agency to use the Prevention Act funds to intervene and stabilize the site. , and the surrounding ecosystem.
EPA dispatched a Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team in November 2008 to conduct inspections and take samples. Testing confirmed the presence of arsenic, chromium, lead, iron, and petroleum hydrocarbons above “risk-based concentration levels.” The Superfund team also recorded widespread oil sheen over large areas of the ground, according to the Superfund team’s report.
The agency began urgent cleanup operations, beginning in May 2009 with a cleanup focused on oil contamination, removing drums and containers, raking about 500 tons of soil near the crusher, and cleaning the entire site. I dug The crew stored other hazardous materials they found in underground tanks, but were instructed not to search in “debris piles.”
DEQ continued on-site restoration work and fined the owner an additional $30,000 in 2010.
Upon taking ownership, the county worked with DEQ to further clean up the site, including removing 26 vehicles, 80 tons of tires, three above-ground storage tanks, and numerous drums and totes. .
The reimbursement request, discussed at the Lincoln County Commission’s regular Wednesday meeting, was an $81,117 claim from Dahl Disposal for hauling over 1,600 yards (over 300 tons) of trash and tires in 2019. You will pay back $80,000 of the loan.
Ryan Helmke, in his third month in Lincoln County property management, told the commissioner that he learned through his DEQ contact about an outstanding business Oregon grant for a project approved in 2020. . Raise more funds to complete the cleanup. The board had to approve collection of the grant because the amount exceeded his $50,000.
Commissioners Claire Hall and Katie Jacobson noted significant improvements to the property, although work remains to be done.
Hall was frequently asked about plans for the county’s land and asked if there were any plans.
Jacobson, who oversees public works, said DEQ needs at least an informal plan before approving funds for the cleanup.
“Given the zoning, which is wood protection, and even if it’s cleaned, there’s obviously a lot of environmental damage done to this property, so you have limited options.” Jacobson said. “At the time, the loose plan we had was to align with the Lincoln community he Forrest … the existing property they own is not far from this property. .”
She said the organization has some ideas for uses such as drying wood that fit its zoning.
“Probably going back to some kind of protection,” she said.
The Commissioner unanimously approved the refund request.
A DEQ spokesperson provided a document detailing the history of the cleanup and next steps shortly before the News-Times print deadline. An update on what happens next will be published in the next edition.