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Nov. 27, 2021

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$2.1M penalty for roofing company over emission violations

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PORTLAND — A North Portland roofing company has been fined $2.1 million for a decade of air quality violations.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said Wednesday it’s the largest fine in the agency’s history, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Malarkey Roofing Products was penalized after the company disclosed it may have been emitting a large amount of formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen, since 2009. The company confirmed elevated emissions through source testing in 2019.

Formaldehyde can cause burning sensation in the eyes, nose and throat as well as nausea and skin irritation.

The company installed adequate pollution controls in July 2020.

Harry Esteve, spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Quality, said since proper controls have been installed, the agency is not calling for suspension of Malarkey’s operations. The majority of the penalty represents the economic benefit Malarkey gained by failing to comply with the law for 10 years, Esteve said.

Tyler Roppe, vice chair of the Kenton Neighborhood Association, said while it’s encouraging to see the state take action against industry and make progress implementing the Cleaner Air Oregon program, a company worth potentially $1.5 billion should face greater consequences than essentially a fine to offset the amount of economic benefit derived by illegally releasing toxins into the air.

Malarkey representatives didn’t respond to The Oregonian/OregonLive’s request for comment.

The company has 20 days to appeal the order.

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