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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, LLC Information Meeting and Public Hearing
DEQ will hold an information meeting and public hearing on the air quality permit renewal for Amerities West, LLC, a tie treatment plant located in The Dalles, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 20. The meeting will be held in the Lecture Hall in Building 2 at Columbia Gorge Community College, 400 East Scenic Drive in The Dalles.
DEQ will give a short presentation regarding the draft permit and will hold an open-house style meeting to answer questions about the permit and the facility. Staff from the Oregon Health Authority will also attend.

People can provide comments on the draft air quality permit in person at the hearing or by mail, email or fax before 5 p.m., Friday, January 30 to:

Nancy Swofford, Permit Coordinator
475 NE Bellevue Dr., Suite 110
Bend, OR 97701

Fax: 541-388-8283
Email: Nancy Swofford

Supporting Documents:

Contacts:

  • Frank Messina Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality Bend, 541-633-2019
  • 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
Headquarters: 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
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