Huntington hit with large fine for wastewater violations

By on Wednesday, March 6th, 2024 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

HUNTINGTON – The City of Huntington has been hit with a large fine by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for wastewater violations.

The DEQ fined the small Baker County town $36,115.00 for what it says is:

Violation of multiple conditions of the wastewater disposal permit, including exceeding pollution limits, failing to conduct required wastewater monitoring, failing to submit required reports and submitting inaccurate information to DEQ.

The DEQ report does not state how much wastewater was leaked into the river.

The City Recorder of Huntington, Siobahn Boxberger, tells Elkhorn Media Group that equipment at the wastewater plant failed, which allowed the leak.

“It was a design problem. One of the tanks’ mechanics failed, opening up the wheel and allowing for the leak,” said Boxberger. “The manufacturer of the tank did come in and was able to fix the problem, but it took some time for it to get fixed.”

Boxberger mentioned that the treatment plant was also plagued by computer issues, but that the issue is being resolved as well.

She says the city has filed an appeal of the fine to the state.

*A stock image of a pipe spilling sewage has been removed. That image was not of the City of Huntington’s wastewater treatment plant. We have also removed the word “sewage” from the article. We apologize for any unintentional misinformation.