A roofing company in North Portland was fined $ 2.1 million Wednesday for 10 years of air quality violations, the highest fine in the history of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the agency said.
Malarkey Roofing Products, 3131 N. Columbia Blvd., received the fine after the company itself disclosed that it may have released large amounts of formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen. In large quantities, formaldehyde can cause stinging of the eyes, nose and throat, nausea and skin irritation.
The company installed adequate emission controls in July 2020.
The roofing company modified an emissions unit in 2009, but did not submit a required report to DEQ. In 2018, Malarkey informed DEQ that its formaldehyde emissions could potentially be higher than previously thought and confirmed increased emissions through source testing in 2019.
Harry Esteve, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Quality, said the agency began investigating the violations in 2018 as soon as Malarkey notified it. Since adequate controls have been put in place, the agency is not requesting the cessation of Malarkey’s operations.
Most of the penalty represents the economic benefit Malarkey gained from failing to comply with the law for 10 years, Esteve said.
“(The fine) is designed to level the playing field and capture the avoided and late costs of compliance,” said Esteve. “The (economic benefit) includes, in particular, the late costs of installing controls, the avoided annual costs of running the pollutant controls, and the difference in permit fees that the facility did not pay.”
Tyler Roppe, vice chairman of the Kenton Neighborhood Association, said he appreciated the state’s implementation of the Cleaner Air Oregon program but believes more could be done after the past 10 years.
“(Malarkey Roofing was) endangering our community and the environment, and while it is encouraging that the state is taking action against the industry and making progress in implementing the Cleaner Air Oregon program, a company with a potentially 1.5 value should be Billions of dollars have bigger consequences than essentially a fine to offset the economic benefits that arise from the illegal release of toxins into our air, ”said Roppe.
Malarkey representatives did not respond to The Oregonian / OregonLive’s request for comment.
Founded in 1956, Malarkey Roofing Products is a Portland-based, family-owned, residential and commercial roofing company with manufacturing facilities in Oregon, California and Oklahoma. The company has 20 days to object to the order.
– Alexandra Skores
[email protected]; 503-221-8073; @AlexandraSkores