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AmeriTies West - The Dalles

The tie treatment plant has been operating in The Dalles since 1922. DEQ issued the first air quality permit for the plant in 1977. Kerr-McGee Corp. (KMC) operated the plant from 1987 through 2004. AmeriTies West, LLC is the current owner.

When KMC took over the operations it made several improvements at the plant that reduced emissions and the number of complaints decreased dramatically. However, during the permit renewal process in 2002, DEQ received numerous comments about odors and other issues. The permit was issued as proposed, but DEQ committed to work with the concerned citizens and KMC to try and resolve the issues.

A workgroup was formed consisting of concerned citizens, DEQ, and plant personnel and met for the first time in July 2002. Many concerns were brought to the table and discussed at the first meeting. Due to limited resources many of the things people wanted done (e.g., health effects study, ambient monitoring program, immediate installation of capture and control systems, etc.) were beyond the scope of the work group. The workgroup decided to concentrate on collecting information that would be useful to the plant for identifying the root cause of the odors. With this information, the plant could possibly make changes to their operations or identify areas that need additional control to abate the odors. To this end, the workgroup agreed to coordinate a series of odor surveys.

The workgroup conducted a series of informal odor surveys between Nov. 2002 and Aug. 2004 to gather information about the frequency and strength of the odors. The surveys were initially mailed or delivered to those that attended the public hearing and those that lived near the plant. The surveys were also announced in the local paper. Those who participated in the surveys recorded several odor events ranging from mild to extremely unpleasant. An attempt was made to correlate the odor events with plant activities, but there was no consistent pattern. It appeared that the odor events were more likely to occur based on the weather conditions. In general, most of the odor events occurred on warm days when there was a light breeze.

The previous owner formed a Quality Action Team (QAT) to evaluate odor causing activities and make recommendations for improvements to reduce odors. Several improvements were implemented that may have reduced odors. DEQ is working with AmeriTies West to continue the QAT approach to addressing odors, but also wanted additional information regarding the magnitude of the issue for the community prior to the permit renewal in 2007. An odor questionnaire was mailed to all residences in The Dalles in early Sept. 2005 and a Town Hall meeting was held on Sept. 14, 2005. Of the 8,757 surveys mailed, the DEQ received 724 and 288 of the respondents clearly identified the tie treatment plant as a source of odors.

The DEQ renewed the permit for AmeriTies West on 5/19/2008. The permit includes specific requirements to address odors. The permit is scheduled for renewal on 4/1/2013.

AmeriTies-West Information Meeting

DEQ will hold a public information meeting to discuss the air quality permit renewal requested by Amerities-West, a tie treatment plant located in The Dalles. The meeting will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 27 in the Lecture Hall in Building 2 at Columbia Gorge Community College, 400 East Scenic Drive in The Dalles.

The meeting will be an open-house format, where community members can informally ask questions about the facility, odors and the permit renewal process. DEQ will give a short presentation to offer general information about the facility and the elements of the permit. People can also provide comments to DEQ about the facility at this meeting.

Following the meeting, DEQ will begin drafting the air quality permit.

View a Question and Answer sheet about Amerities-West and the draft permit renewal.

View an odor information sheet created by Oregon Health Authority.

Learn more about DEQ’s Nuisance Strategy.

View the existing air quality permit and review report.

Have a question about Amerities-West? Contact Frank Messina at messina.frank@deq.state.or.us or 541-633-2019.

Supporting Documents:

Contacts:

  • Mark Fisher Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality Bend, 541-633-2022
  • Jeff Thompson, AmeriTies West at 541-296-1808
[print version]

 

For more information about DEQ's Eastern Region call 541-388-6146 (Bend) or 541-276-4063 (Pendleton) or email DEQ Info .

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
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