August 20th, 2014 | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: Business, City Hall, Environment

Portland Bottling Wants to Know If It Can Lower Its City Fines

     
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portlandbottlingPortland Bottling Co. - Aaron Mesh

Portland Bottling Co. had vowed to fight $449,916 in charges and fines levied by the city Bureau of Environmental Services for allegedly dumping millions of gallons of wastewater illegally to avoid paying higher sewer bills.

But public documents suggest the company now wants to cut a deal with the city.

Portland Bottling was a major backer of the failed ballot measure in May to wrest control of water and sewer utilities from City Hall.

In June, it blamed mechanical problems for dumping what BES investigators said was 21 million gallons of wastewater over three years.

City records, first reported in today's Murmurs, show the company now appears deferential.

At an Aug. 5 appeals hearing, company president Tom Keenan offered to make necessary fixes in exchange for lowering the civil penalties.

"PBC expressed their intention to make changes that would allow them to maintain compliance and be eligible for modification of civil penalty," says the city's summary of the hearing.

"PBC has requested bids from consultants to identify potential projects for their industrial process and wastewater treatment system," the report continues. "PBC will use that information to decide whether making improvements on-site is feasible or whether they will discontinue operating at their current location."

Keenan spoke to WW after press deadlines Tuesday. He says the city documents don't match his memory of the hearing. "Their summary is a little bit different than my summary," Keenan says.

Keenan says Portland Bottling is weighing its options.

"From our perspective, the purpose of the meeting was to understand the city's position," Keenan says. "We're trying to find a way to resolve this out of court."

 
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