Department head warns against using used oil for dust control


Shaun West, Linn County Public Works director, said Monday he knew of three instances where landowners, in violation of county code, had spread waste motor oil on gravel roads to control dust. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)


MOUND CITY – Property owners who, without county approval or permission, spread oil or take similar measures to control dust on gravel roads could be liable for the costs of removing and replacing the contaminated road materials.


That was the message Linn County Public Works Director Shaun West told the Linn County Commission on Monday, Aug. 22. He said that in three different locations across the county the past week he had to deal with property owners who had been spreading unapproved substances on roads for dust control.


One case was 40-plus gallons of oil spread on a gravel roadway. Another involved spreading even more used motor oil than that at a different location.


West told the commissioners that he felt it was important for the public to know that whether it’s calcium chloride or oil, no substance is to be put on the county roadway that is not approved or applied by county employees or county contractors.


West said that he had talked with two of the owners and had also sent them letters that had been approved by County Counselor Gary Thompson. He said he did not feel that there would be any more problems with the two owners he had talked to.


“If it is applied, and I told them in the letters, if we are ordered to remove that as a contaminant on our roadway, they could expect the possibility of the county coming back for the damages and the repairs for that cost,” said West.

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