Frequently Asked Questions
Who we are:
Q. What is the plant’s history in The Dalles?
A. Our plant, located on about 80 acres, has supplied wood products for railroads since 1922. Kerr McGee most recently owned the facility before it was purchased by AmeriTies West LLC in February 2005. AmeriTies is a U.S.-based, privately owned company.
Q. Who are your employees and what benefits do you offer them?
A. AmeriTies employs approximately 50 people at our Oregon operation. Several of our employees have been with us for more than 20 years. Wages start well above the minimum wage, with annual raises and bonuses. All of our employees have health and 401K benefits.
Q. What exactly does AmeriTies produce?
A. We treat wood railroad ties and bridge timbers with a creosote solution to render them more resistant to weather and insects.
Health and safety:
Q. What is AmeriTies’ OSHA safety record?
A. Our plant was the first industrial facility in the state to be awarded OSHA STAR status, by Oregon OSHA (Occupation Health & Safety Administration) in 1996. This program identifies employers and employees who demonstrate exemplary occupational safety and health practices. Safety is engrained in our culture. As of March 1, 2017, AmeriTies had operated more than 1,450 days without a reportable accident.
Q: Do your employees receive regular health monitoring and what does it show?
A: Our site and workforce undergo annual industrial health monitoring, which includes testing for dust, tar pitch volatiles and noise. Results consistently show workers and working conditions are safe.
Q: What’s the status of the work AmeriTies is doing as part of the company’s agreement with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality?
A: AmeriTies is fully compliant with the agreement, signed on April 8, 2016. We have modified our operations, invested in new equipmentand, as of Dec. 1, switched over to a new, low-naphthalene treatment formula.
Q: What’s the status of AmeriTies’ state air quality permit?
A: All of our permits are current. The company conscientiously complies with state and federal environmental and safety regulations.
Q: Have all the railroad ties stacked in your yard been treated?
A: The majority have not been treated. Our wood is primarily sourced from Oregon and Washington sawmills. We receive the untreated products, trim, stack and allow them to air-dry in our yard for six to 12 months.
Q: Is your treatment process filtered, closed or controlled?
A: Yes. Once the ties are air-dried, they are placed in an air-tight treating cylinder where they are injected with preservative under heat and pressure. The finished ties spend a short time on our yard before they are shipped out.
Q. What is the status of the oil scrubber study?
A. We’ve completed Phase 1 testing and submitted our report to the DEQ.
Q: What have you done in response to neighbors’ concerns about odor?
A: We’ve made a series of changes, including implementing a new formula that contains half of the naphthalene content, to reduce odor concerns. Even so, it may still be possible to detect an odor under certain wind or weather conditions.
Q: Why does AmeriTies operate during nights and weekends?
A: Our production schedule is dictated by our work orders. The ties and bridge timbers we treat are both in demand and critical to the maintenance and safe operation of the region’s rail networks.