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Illegal dumping – Abandoned chemicals leads to arrest of Silverton man

By Stephen Floyd

One of the many cans dumped near Scotts Mills

A Marion County man is facing multiple charges after allegedly abandoning dozens of cans of paint thinner along the roadside at several locations near Scotts Mills.

John Hyslop, 50, of Silverton, was arrested Dec. 20 after the Marion County Sheriff’s Office received reports Dec. 17 of numerous cans of paint thinner and similar liquids abandoned south of Scotts Mills.

Around 50 five-gallon cans were recovered along Ettlin Loop NE, Hazelnut Ridge Road NE and McKillop Road NE. Authorities said they have no information suggesting additional locations were impacted.

When deputies arrived, they found several cans were overturned and had leaked an unknown quantity of liquid into the soil. At one location on Ettlin Loop NE, the spill had flowed into a nearby unnamed creek.

Marion County Public Works created earth berms and applied absorbent pads to contain the spill, then covered the soil with plastic sheeting to prevent rain from spreading toxins further. Private contractor US Ecology, of Sherwood, then responded to identify and safely remove contaminated soil, which continued through Dec. 22.

Plastic sheeting covers where illegally dumped chemicals entered the soil

A foam barrier was also placed at the surface of the creek at Ettlin Loop NE to capture any oily liquids that may have entered the water. Authorities said they could not tell how much paint thinner, if any, entered the creek.

Hyslop was charged with unlawful disposal of hazardous waste in the first degree, criminal mischief in the first degree, depositing trash within 100 yards of a waterway and offensive littering. He faces up to 10 years in prison on the highest count and is scheduled for a first circuit court appearance Jan. 18.

According to court records, Hyslop has no felony criminal history in Oregon. The sheriff’s office said they could not comment on a motive due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, though they noted Hyslop owns an autobody business in Woodburn. No other suspects are being sought.

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