Oil Re-Refining Co. v. Dept. of Environ. Quality

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Environmental Law
  • Date Filed: 09-10-2015
  • Case #: A149365
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Nakamoto, J.; & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under 40 CFR § 263.20(a)(1) or ORS 466.095(1)(c), when charging an entity with a violation of permit regulations regarding the transport and treatment of hazardous waste, the mental state of a charged entity at the time of the violation is irrelevant.

The Department of Environmental Quality ("DEQ") sought to fine the Oil Re-Refining Company ("ORRCO") for "transporting and treating hazardous waste without a required manifest and permit” violating 40 CFR § 263.20(a)(1) and ORS 466.095(1)(c). ORRCO appealed the ruling by the Environmental Quality Commission claiming they treated the waste as nonhazardous because they believed that was the proper characterization. The Court held that 40 CFR § 263.20(a)(1) and ORS 466.095(1)(c) are strict liability rules, thereby rendering irrelevant ORRCO's mental state at the time of the charged violation. Affirmed.

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