COOS BAY - Investigators from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have raided a factory at Coos Bay.

Employees of D.B. Western Inc. were sent home Thursday while EPA and Oregon State Police troopers entered the site on the North Spit of Coos Bay.

The facility, owned by Dennis Beetham of North Bend, manufactures parts for chemical plants. Beetham is leasing the 32-acre parcel and attached dock from the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay.

"I'm not going to comment on the extent of what we're doing," said R. Scott West of the EPA.

But he said, there was nothing to indicate damage to the water quality.

"We haven't identified anything we find to be a public threat out here," he said. "If we did, we'd be screaming about it."

Beetham's lawyer, Rick Martson of Portland, told The World of Coos Bay that the raid grew out of the company's voluntary cleanup in a Central Oregon case.

Beetham is involved in a hazardous waste cleanup at a ranch he owns in Powell Butte. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality opened a case in 2007, after finding illegal disposal and burning of hazardous and industrial wastes, according to DEQ documents.

"D.B. Western has been a good citizen in both Coos Bay and Oregon for 35 years," said Martson. "I submit that when all of this is over, they'll still be viewed as a good citizen, a very good citizen."

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality inspectors were at the North Spit site in January, said DEQ's environmental law specialist, Jeff Bachman.

"We are still processing the evidence gained from that investigation," Bachman said.

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