Stacking tons of shredded tires along the Willamette River where they can be loaded onto a cargo ship is permitted, according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
Inspectors showed up unannounced at the former Louis Dreyfus grain terminal, just north of the steel bridge, on August 4, but found no violations, DEQ spokeswoman Lauren Wirtis said. .
“They observed two piles of tire shredders,” Wirtis wrote in an email to WW. “No tire shreds were visible on the outside of either pile. DEQ inspectors did not observe any visible dust or odor during their visit.
The DEQ inspection came after a Portland resident said WW he went for a run past the terminal in July and encountered the dust and stench of rubber (“Rubber Room,” WW, July 27). One thing had changed in the meantime: a ship carrying scrap tires had left two weeks earlier.
Willamette Riverkeeper Travis Williams says he wonders if DEQ inspectors have looked at stormwater containment. “That would be a potential impact on water quality,” Williams says.
The Portland Office of Environmental Services, which regulates stormwater at the site, says the terminal does not need a permit because it is not a manufacturer. The terminal is owned by Beau Blixseth, son of Oregon lumber speculator Tim Blixseth, and Chandos Mahon, a shredded tire magnate.