SALEM - The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued 12 penalties totaling $71,088 in July.

Among the cases, the City of Gresham has paid a $7,200 penalty that DEQ issued July 7 for discharging approximately 2 to 3 million gallons of raw sewage into Johnson Creek in east Multnomah County due to a pump station malfunction that occurred Jan. 25-28. The spill caused E. coli bacteria rates to temporarily exceed acceptable health levels. The city did not become aware of the discharge until Feb. 5 and reported the incident to the Oregon Emergency Response System on Feb. 6.

DEQ officials noted that the discharge of untreated or partially treated sewage into state waters presents a potential public health threat through direct human contact or through contact with insects that have been in contact with the sewage. These civil penalty actions reflect alleged violations of state and/or federal laws designed to protect human health and the environment. The parties listed have the option to appeal the assessed penalty, DEQ noted.

Regional enforcement included: July 3 - Devin Oil Co., Condon (Gilliam County), failing to clean up ongoing petroleum releases on bulk petroleum storage facility at 316 E. Cottonwood Lane: $1,800 fine paid July 23; July 31 - Monaco Coach Corp., Hines (Harney County), failing to properly label six drums of hazardous waste at company facility at 320 Snow Mountain Road, $3,900 fine: response was due Aug. 27.

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