Hermiston businessman's estate fined for storing hazardous waste in Pendleton

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a $19,200 penalty to the estate of Robert E. Hart for storing and failing to clean up approximately 60,000 pounds of hazardous waste at Pendleton Airport.

Hart accumulated and mismanaged expired, unusable, unlabeled and banned pesticidesover many years in two buildings at Northwest 50thStreet in Pendleton. Hart, who passed away in 2011, leased and operated the property at the airport. Heirs to his estate eventually cleaned up the hazardous waste in July 2013, pursuant to a DEQ order.

The hazardous waste included expired paints and pesticides, including banned pesticides such as DDT and Chlordane. Many of the containers were open, rusted and leaking, causing soil contamination. The materials also posed a public health risk.

Hart’s estate has until January 22, 2014 to appeal the penalty.