J.h. Baxter Avoids A Hearing And Refuses To Pay Fines: It would appear that the J.H. Baxter Company has not paid the environmental fines that were agreed upon in connection with the wood treatment activities that it conducts.
Back in May, the J.H. Baxter Company was threatened with fines totaling $305,440, and a contested case hearing was planned to take place with many organizations, one of which was the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
When Baxter provided their official agreement to pay, that hearing was canceled. On the other hand, Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics claims that this has not taken place.
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They sidestepped the August hearing by claiming they would pay the fee, but when the time came, they simply disappeared without making any payment at all.
DEQ spokeswoman Dylan Darling on J.H. Baxter
According to DEQ spokeswoman Dylan Darling, the payment was expected to be made in July. After factoring in interest, the total amount of J.H.Baxter’s fines as of Monday was $314,176.00.
According to Darling, “We have put liens on Baxter’s property in Oregon and Washington so that they couldn’t sell or transfer the property without paying that amount.” The liens were filed on Baxter’s properties in each of those states.
Darling adds The Department of Environmental Quality is collaborating with the Department of Justice and the Department of Revenue of Oregon to pursue collection efforts against J.H. Baxter.
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While this was going on, soil samples were collected from nearby homes in the Bethel neighborhood where the J.H. Baxter factory had been in operation for the previous 80 years before it was shut down in January. The residents of the area are concerned about the possible levels of dioxin contamination that exist in their own backyards and gardens.
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