Union County is appealing a civil penalty of almost $50,000 from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality claiming it violated conditions of its general permit related to the U.S. Forest Service rappel base constructed at the La Grande/Union County Airport. The DEQ states the penalty of $48,683 was issued because significant amounts of sediment left the site and entered the drainage ditch along Pierce Road, discharging into designated critical habitat for threatened Snake River Basin Steelhead Trout.