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Aluminum Recycler Fined By DEQ

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued a $1.3 million fine to an aluminum recycler in The Dalles for multiple violations of air pollution regulations.  A statement issued Thursday by the DEQ says the fine assessed to Hydro Extrusion USA represents the largest ever issued by the agency for an air quality violation.  The DEQ statement says that in April, inspectors found that the company, which is owned by Norway-based Norsk Hydro, had been improperly melting down coated aluminum for over a year.  The Dalles facility was only allowed to melt down “clean charge” material free of grease, oil and other coatings.  Hydro Extrusion was ordered to stop processing unclean materials, upgrade its tracking programs and submit monthly reports to the state to verify it was in compliance with the law.  DEQ officials say monitoring has improved, and the company has certified with the state that it no longer processes the prohibited material.  The company did not immediately respond to a request from the Oregonian/OregonLive for comment, and has 20 days to appeal.