An Oregon paint manufacturer will pay $18,000 for accidentally checking the wrong box on an online government form while trying to update its records.
It could have been worse: The goof, a violation of the Clean Air Act, could have cost Forrest Paint Co. nearly $300,000.
Photos: Forrest Paint Co.
|Founded in 1973, Forrest Paint produces high-performance liquid and powder coatings as well as consumer paints and coatings.|
But in a Consent Decree signed Jan. 6, the Environmental Protection Agency said it would give the Eugene-based manufacturer a break in light of its “full compliance history and efforts to comply.”
Indeed, Forrest, founded in 1973, promotes itself as a “pro-active, ecologically responsible” paint and coatings manufacturer that has thrived even in Oregon’s highly regulated environment.
The company manufactures UV-cured, water-reducible, low-VOC, low-HAPS, epoxies, urethanes, high-temperature coatings, high-performance coatings, primers, alkyd enamel systems, and other coatings products for specific applications.
The Wrong Box
The EPA case dates to June 21, 2009, when Forrest was due to submit the required five-year update on its federal Risk Management Plan (RMP).
Mandated for all stationary sources of regulated substances above 10,000 pounds annually, the plan spells out the company’s measures to detect, prevent and respond to accidental releases.
|The company has invested heavily in eco-friendly practices, including biofiltering technology to minimize air pollutant emissions during manufacturing.|
According to the Consent Decree, Forrest says it tried to update and submit the RMP on the date required, “but inadvertently, by checking the wrong box, filed a correction to the plan instead of the intended submittal for a five-year update to the plan.”
Neither EPA nor Forrest responded to a request for comment Tuesday (Jan. 10).
“The online form just disappears on you,” company founder and CEO Scott Forrest told The Register-Guard of Eugene. “This particular one, you don’t get a printout of it. It goes into hyperspace.”
“We made a mistake, and I guess we’re paying for it,” Forrest said. “So we’ll try not to do that again.”
In the future, Forrest told the paper, his company will print out a screen shot of the form after completing each page to check for errors.
Under the Consent Decree, Forrest Paint admits no wrongdoing.
The company has 30 days to pay its fine.
And, Forrest told the Register-Guard: “We’re going to be rather careful and make sure that’s in on time.”