The Wallowa County Board of Commissioners voted Monday to request a three-county household hazardous waste planning grant from the Department of Environmental Quality.

They did so following a suggestion from the DEQ's Natural Resource Specialist Scott Fairley.

Fairley said he was 99 percent certain that such a request, were it to come from Union and Baker Counties as well, would be granted.

The concern is that such household wastes as household cleaners, yard chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, mercury, solvents and batteries are not being disposed of properly at the expense of the environment.

"The system we have now is a frustration to the people," said commission chairman Mike Hayward. "Even people who want to abide by the law have a tough time doing so."

Fairley said that the landfill used by the county has no liner, thus is not safe to dispose of household hazardous waste.

The DEQ representative suggested that Union County would be the likely location for a tri- county disposal site.

He suggested that trips to Baker and Wallowa County could be coordinated to retrieve waste.

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