- Associated Press - Friday, July 18, 2014

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - In a story July 15 about a lumber dump, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Ed King, owner of King Estate winery, was subject to an environmental fine at a dump outside Pilot Rock. Oregon state regulators say King was dismissed from the case in January because he no longer had an interest in the business at the time of the violations.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Lumber dump troubles town with frequent fires

Long-burning lumber dump troubles town with frequent fires

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - A decades-old lumber dump outside Pilot Rock is expected to burn again this summer, as it has several times each year, most recently in June.

The dump is owned by Kinzua Resources, a company held by brothers Greg and Jeffrey Demers, who are Lane County developers, the East Oregonian (https://bit.ly/1l095AV) reported. Ed King, owner of King Estate winery, was dismissed from the case in January because he no longer had an interest in the business at the time of the violations, state regulators said.

In August 2013, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality proposed a $790,062 fine for years of neglect at the dump and never closing it.

The owners appealed, and an administrative law judge will hold a hearing in late September.

The fires can blanket Pilot Rock in smoke. Pilot Rock Mayor Virginia Carnes said the dump is so dangerous the Pilot Rock fire department fights fires only at its perimeter. “They won’t put men or equipment on top of that pile for fear of losing one or both,” she said.

Given the right conditions, said dump neighbor and retired developer John Taylor, a fire from the big pit would spell disaster for his home and others. The dump also hides sink holes, and a barbed wire fence is the only deterrent from anyone walking on it.

“If someone fell in it,” Taylor said, “they could probably never get out.”

The DEQ has estimated closing the site could cost $2 million.


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