Three organizations in La Grande fined for asbestos violations

By on Tuesday, January 26th, 2021 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

EASTERN OREGON – DEQ is committed to balancing its vital obligation to enforce the law and protect the environment with a consideration of the dramatic disruptions to public health and the economy caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. DEQ will continue to exercise reasonable enforcement discretion within its authority when issuing civil penalties. In addition, DEQ recognizes that the outbreak may affect the ability to comply with corrective actions or pay a civil penalty. Visit our webpage for more information about DEQ’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued 11 penalties totaling $665,795 in December for various environmental violations. A detailed list of violations and resulting penalties is at

Fines ranged from $1,400 to $198,786. Alleged violations include a knife manufacturer failing to immediately clean up spilled hazardous waste, a town failing to monitor wastewater discharge for pollutants, and a demolition contractor openly storing asbestos waste.

DEQ issued civil penalties to the following organizations:
• Benchmade Knife Company Inc., $13,400, Oregon City, hazardous waste
• Columbia 410 LLC and affiliated entities: Columbia 410 LLC ($196,288); CHTC Inc. ($198,786); Jacob Crabtree ($196,288), Molalla, air quality*
• Dustin Mulrony, $11,200, La Grande, asbestos
• Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, $1,600, Pendleton, air quality
• Leroy W. Smith, $1,400, Corbett, stormwater
• O.K. Express Inc., $4,350, Troutdale, stormwater
• Town of Lakeview, $5,247, Lakeview, wastewater
• TSL Curry Manor LLC, $4,836, Roseburg, wastewater
• Union County, $7,200, La Grande, asbestos
• Wellens General Contractors Inc., $7,200, La Grande, asbestos
• West Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center, $18,000, Portland, wastewater

Organizations or individuals must either pay the fines or file an appeal within 20 days of receiving notice of the penalty. They may be able to offset a portion of a penalty by funding a supplemental environmental project that improves Oregon’s environment.

Penalties may also include orders requiring specific tasks to prevent ongoing violations or additional environmental harm.

DEQ works with thousands of organizations and individuals to help them comply with laws that protect Oregon’s air, land and water. DEQ uses education, technical assistance, warnings and penalties to change behavior and deter future violations.

*This is an amended penalty that DEQ originally issued to Columbia 410 LLC in June 2020 for $13,480. DEQ amended the penalty in December 2021 because of ongoing non-compliance. DEQ also added penalties for Columbia 410’s parent company, CHTC, and the CEO, Jacob Crabtree, which are also responsible for this facility’s violations.