Portland laundry business to pay $819K for wastewater test tampe - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland laundry business to pay $819K for wastewater test tampering

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A commercial linen laundry facility in Portland will pay more than $819,000 to various agencies for manipulating wastewater testing samples, according to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

Rosenblum announced the civil settlement Monday with Alsco.

Investigators said to avoid extra costs, Alsco would submit reports to the city of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services that showed Alsco's wastewater discharges were cleaner than they really were.

The general manager and chief engineer of the Alsco plant previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges in this case, according to the attorney general's office.

Investigators said the company, between April 2004 and September 2014, manipulated water quality procedures and data on days when regulators tested their wastewater discharge levels.

Alsco was accused of diluting its wastewater before releasing it into Portland's sewer system. 

Alsco also discharged dirtier water and used less water than what was shown on their tests during non-testing days, according to investigators.

The attorney general's office said the end result was "significantly" reduced water usage and costs for the company.

As part of a stipulated plea deal, Alsco will pay $819,059 in restitution and fines. Specifically, Alsco will pay $319,056 in extra-strength sewer charges to Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services and $140,000 in additional fines imposed by the bureau.  

Alsco will also pay $200,000 to the Oregon Department of Justice's consumer education account, $100,000 to the Western States Project Training Fund and $60,000 to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Additionally, Alsco will implement stronger internal environmental compliance measures, including changes to processes at the plant and better employee training and monitoring.

The case was investigated by the Department of Justice's Environmental Crimes and Cultural Resources Unit, a division that focuses on the enforcement of Oregon environmental laws. Assistant Attorney General Patrick Flanagan led the case.

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