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DEQ Fines International Paper For Oil Spill Into McKenzie River

The McKenzie River near Hayden Bridge, after the International Paper hydraulic oil spill in March.
Brian Bull
/
KLCC
The McKenzie River near Hayden Bridge, after the International Paper hydraulic oil spill in March.

A hydraulic oil spill into the McKenzie River last March has earned a paper company a $20,000 fine. KLCC’s Brian Bull has more.

The McKenzie River near Hayden Bridge, after the International Paper hydraulic oil spill in March.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
/
KLCC
The McKenzie River near Hayden Bridge, after the International Paper hydraulic oil spill in March.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality says on March 13 th, International Paper’s Springfield facility suffered a broken line. While most of the estimated 1,000 gallons of oil ended up in wastewater lagoons at the plant, nearly 100 gallons did spill into the McKenzie.

Katherine Benenati of the DEQ breaks down the fine.

“$14,400 of that was for the spill itself, and there was a $6,400 penalty for a delay in reporting that release," explains Benenati. "There were no documented impacts to fish or other wildlife, we did take that into account when considering the fine.”

International Paper did not respond to KLCC’s question as to why it took more than five hours to report the spill.  But in a statement attributed to Springfield manager Doug Black, the company apologizes for the incident, and says systems are in place to keep it from happening again.

International Paper has until September 19 th to appeal the fine.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Copyright 2018 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.