Port on Columbia River appeals $1.3M contamination fine

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BOARDMAN, Ore. (AP) — The Port of Morrow along the Columbia River has filed an appeal over a nearly $1.3 million fine from state regulators for repeated wastewater violations that contaminated groundwater. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality fined the industrial park outside of Boardman for overapplying wastewater containing nitrogen to agriculture fields and failing to monitor the resulting nitrate contamination. Last week the port disputed its fine, claiming the violations were “unintentional.” The port said it believed it had enough land available to absorb the excess nitrate but there was “an unexpected combination of less acreage available and unusually high winter precipitation” that forced the port to exceed its nitrate limits.

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