The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality scheduled a public hearing next month on modifying Hermiston Foods’ water pollution control facility permit.

The hearing is set for 6 p.m. June 21 at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 2121 S. First St.

Hermiston Foods applies wastewater from its vegetable processing operation to its crop fields. The business holds a state permit that specifies irrigation practices and limitations intended to protect human health and the environment.

The permit requires Hermiston Foods to limit irrigation by setting a monthly maximum volume. The proposal to modify the permit will require the company to control wastewater application on its fields by complying with approved soil moisture management procedures.

Hermiston Foods has received two warning letters from the DEQ since November 2009. One was for applying wastewater on unapproved land. The other  Seven months later, in June 2010, the DEQ warned Hermiston Foods about allowing wastewater to be carried by the wind.

A DEQ notice states the company resolved the problems and there have been no recurrences.

Copies of the draft permit are available for public review, by appointment, at the DEQ’s Pendleton office, 700 S.E. Emigrant Ave., Suite 330. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call Jackie Ray, 541-278-4605.

DEQ also will accept written comments by 5 p.m. June 27. Comments should be submitted to Ray at the Pendleton office or emailed to ray.jackie@deq.state.or.us.

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