By Boyd C. Allen

Pilot Staff Writer

Hagen’s Dry Cleaners first closed for three weeks because the dry-cleaner broke, according to Manager Marci Huss, but when the machine was recently fixed, the property manager and city closed the store until the owner installed a backflow preventer.

Backflow preventers stop contaminated water from flowing back into a water system during periods when pressure drops in the main system.

According to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Communications Manager Donnie Oliveira, Hagen’s has not filed its last two yearly reports and has not been inspected by the DEQ in more than a year.

Dry cleaners fall under a separate section of the DEQ because they use the chemical perchloroethylene (perc) in the cleaning process. Perc is toxic to humans and must be handled accordingly, according to the DEQ and the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The chemical causes symptoms ranging from headaches to cancer, depending on the severity and length of exposure.

Huss said she knew Yancey was having problems with DEQ but was unaware of what they were.

“Oregon dry cleaners must file yearly reports,” Oliveira said. “The reports detail chemical purchases, chemical disposal and facility changes.”

However, Yancey has not filed his yearly report in two years and has not paid his fees to DEQ, according to Oliveira.

“We have referred his case to the Oregon Department of Revenue,” he said. “He owes the state $2,700.”

He said the DEQ is concerned that Yancey meet the permit standards for the chemicals he uses, and they have put him back on the list for an inspection.

Hagen’s was closed when the last inspection was scheduled, according to Oliveira.

“An inspection has been scheduled,” owner Charlie Yancey said, “and the paperwork will be filed.”

Property manager Bill Snyder said he changed the locks on the business after the city told him the backflow preventer needed to be installed. He provided new keys to open the business when the work was finished Monday.

City officials did not respond to calls for comment.

Yancey evidently gave his managers — Derek Didio and Huss — the wrong keys or non-working keys, according to Snyder, because they couldn’t enter the building.

Huss confirmed that the keys prevented them from opening Tuesday.

Yancey said new keys were on the way Tuesday and the cleaners would be open at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The cleaners would open as soon as working keys arrived, Huss said, but not for regular hours because they needed to catch up on three to four weeks of dry cleaning.

Reach Boyd C. Allen at ballen@currypilot.com .

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