News Release

For release: Oct. 4, 2010

Jennifer Claussen, Air Quality Program, Salem, (503) 378-5085
Courtney Brown, Compliance and Enforcement, Portland, (503) 229-6839

Oregon State Fraternity Penalized $1,000 for Open Burning of Couch at Fraternity House in Corvallis

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a $1,000 penalty to Delta Upsilon Fraternity for illegal open burning of a couch at the Delta Upsilon Fraternity House in Corvallis last June.


DEQ reported that on the evening of June 4, a five-foot-long couch was burned in a fire pit at the Oregon State University fraternity house, located at 235 NW 25th St. Materials making up the burned couch included painted or treated wood, foam cushions and upholstery – materials which normally emit dense smoke or noxious odors when burned and are prohibited.


Open burning of prohibited materials is illegal in Oregon. Materials burned in the couch create a nuisance and threat to the environment and public health. Burning these materials can result in toxic levels of chemical exposure to residents and those nearby.


In issuing the penalty, DEQ noted that it had previously issued two warning letters to the fraternity for the same violation. Those violations occurred in September 2006 and March 2008. The fraternity house is located within a Special Open Burning Control Area. As owner of the house and property, the fraternity is responsible for the violation.


Delta Upsilon Fraternity has until Nov. 3 to appeal the penalty. If DEQ does not receive an appeal, the full penalty amount would then be due.

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