Luhr Jensen fined for excess metal discharges

The City of Hood River has levied a second fine against Luhr Jensen and Sons in as many months for dumping heavy metals into the wastewater treatment system.

On Tuesday, the waterfront company was fined $2,000 for discharging silver into the system and then failing to report the incident in a timely manner. That fine follows an $8,000 penalty in February after sampling reports showed that more than 100 times the allowable limit of chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, silver and zinc were released from the plant on Dec. 26, 2001. The latest discharge inundated the system with more than 38 times the acceptable level of silver, according to Mark Lago, director of public works/engineering.

“This is something the city takes very seriously and steps need to be taken here to ensure this doesn’t happen again in the future,” Lago said.

Phil Jensen, owner of the fishing lure manufacturing plant, said he is “terribly embarrassed” by the latest problems and intends to take immediate steps to correct the situation. Jensen said he was unaware of any violations until this week and is working with his engineers to install a proper filtration system as soon as possible.

“I’ve made this an absolute top priority, we just can’t be doing these things, it’s a moral issue,” said Jensen. “If there is any company that wants to be right with the environment and resources it’s Luhr Jensen.”

According to city records, since Luhr Jensen was issued an Industrial Waste Discharge Permit in 1997 the company has incurred three other violations for either releasing too much silver or failing to submit sampling reports on time.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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