Pendleton Man's Estate Fined $19,200 by DEQ

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The estate of a Pendleton businessman who died in 2011 has been issued a fine of $19,200 for failing to clean up hazardous waste at the Pendleton Airport.

According to KVEW, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued the penalty to the estate of Robert E. Hart for storing and failing to clean up approximately 60,000 pounds of hazardous waste.

KVEW reports that Hart accumulated and mismanaged expired, unusable, unlabeled and banned pesticides over many years in two buildings at Northwest 50th St., in Pendleton. Hart leased and operated the property at the airport. Heirs to his estate eventually cleaned up the hazardous waste in July 2013, as ordered by the DEQ.

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, according to KVEW.

Hart’s estate has until Jan. 22 to appeal the penalty.