Illegal oil dumping costly for taxpayers, Spokane County says
Tue., Aug. 2, 2016
Spokane County officials say a rash of illegal dumping of used motor oil poses an environmental hazard and will cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.
More than two dozen 55-gallon oil drums have been found at various locations in the past four days, prompting an expensive response by multiple agencies, including the state Department of Ecology, according to a county news release.
Eight barrels were found Saturday at Chattaroy Road and Perry Road in Colbert. Five more were discovered Sunday on Perry Street north of Hawthorne Road in Spokane. And another 16 were found Tuesday at Hayford Road and Euclid Road in Airway Heights.
Before each barrel can be disposed of, its contents must be screened at a cost of nearly $1,000, the release said.
County engineer Mitch Reister said the barrels were reported by residents, and crews were called out on the weekend to clean up. Leaking oil had been cleaned at the Airway Heights dump by Tuesday afternoon, but road crews were called away from other projects and the cost of cleanup will come out of the county’s road maintenance fund, Reister said.
It’s unclear how long the barrels were in the roadway before they were reported, Reister said. The dumpers appear to have anchored the barrels to a guardrail and then driven off, he added.
“These were real deliberate, deplorable actions,” Reister said.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about the dumping to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233. Those responsible may face felony charges, with a minimum sentence of a year in jail, and thousands of dollars in fines.
County residents may take up to 5 gallons of oil or other hazardous materials to the waste transfer stations in northern Spokane County and Spokane Valley on Saturdays and Sundays, or to the Waste-to-Energy Plant any day of the week.
More information can be found by calling the Regional Solid Waste Department at (509) 477-6800.
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