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Green Briefs

North Plains compost plant runs afoul of DEQ

The company operating the odor-wracked compost plant in North Plains built a 67,000-gallon tank to hold and treat runoff — before getting the required go-ahead from regulators.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued a $5,600 fine to Recology Oregon Compost for building the tank at the Nature’s Needs facility without DEQ approval.

The tank was designed to hold liquid runoff from the composting process, called leachate, which can increase odors and harm fish when discharged into aquatic environments.

Gear up for bike commute challenge

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is gearing up for its annual Bike Commute Challenge next month.

The idea is to motivate more people to try commuting by bike in September. Teams are organized by work place, with prizes awarded. To sign up: bikecommutechallenge.com

Army Corps sued for oil leaks into Columbia

Columbia Riverkeeper sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, charging it is allowing “acute spills and chronic leaks of oil and other pollution” from dams, including those at Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day.

The Hood River-based advocacy group alleges the oil leaks have violated the Clean Water Act for the past seven years.

Columbia Riverkeeper’s lawsuit describes dozens of oil spills, including reports of the Army Corps discharging more than 1,500 gallons of PCB-laden transformer oil at one dam.