LAKEVIEW, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued Collins Pine Co.’s Lakeview, Oregon sawmill operation a $7,200 fine for exceeding air pollution restrictions.

The penalty was issued for exceeding grain loading particulate matter emission limits from one of the company's two boilers at its wood products mill. Testing conducted on the boilers in August 2016 showed that particulate matter emission levels were over the limit granted to the company by its permit.

Particulate matter can contribute to respiratory distress, including decreased lung function and bronchitis.

Further testing in October revealed a reduced level of particulate emissions. Collins is reportedly making corrections to the boiler.

The company has appealed the fine.

In addition to the fine, Collins Pine must submit a detailed description of recent maintenance and cleaning work performed on the boiler, and an update to its facility operations and maintenance plan.

Collins Pine Co. is the last remaining operational sawmill in Lakeview, an area that once had as many as seven active mills, says Lakeview’s Herald and News. It is the largest private employer in Lakeview, averaging 75 employees.

Collins makes siding, trim, particleboard, and products from ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, white-fir, incense cedar at its Lakeview plant. The company manages a 97,600-acre forest in southern Oregon and northeastern Caolifornia.

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