The builder of an East Bremerton housing development faces $13,000 in state penalties for failing to keep muddy water from draining off the construction site into nearby storm drains and waterways.
The Washington Department of Ecology has fined Tukwila-based Trep Development LLC for violating state water quality requirements at the company’s East Park project at Schley Boulevard and Magnusson Way. A state permit for large construction sites requires builders to prevent releases of muddy stormwater.
Muddy water can harm fish and other aquatic life. Silt particles can foul habitat and injure delicate gill tissues.
“We advised and warned Trep Development months before these violations to make sure they had proper stormwater controls in place and maintained,” said Rachel McCrea, regional manager for Ecology’s Water Quality Program. “Exposed soil can produce significant pollution in our region’s rainy weather.”
The violations at the East Park project included:
- Erosion: Improper runoff controls resulted in muddy water flowing from the site onto Magnusson Way on April 10 and 13, 2018, where it entered city storm drains that discharge to McDougal Creek, which flows to the Port Washington Narrows.
- Stormwater flow: During heavy rain on Dec. 19, 2017, muddy water was pumped at too high a rate from a detention pond onto a slope. The water could not soak into the ground, and it flowed onto Harrison Medical Center property. There it entered drains that lead to city stormwater lines that empty into the Port Washington Narrows.
- Vehicle track-out: Improper installation and maintenance of vehicle exits allowed mud to be tracked onto adjoining streets, adding to the muddy flows on April 10 and 13, 2018.
The City of Bremerton assisted Ecology’s investigation.
Ecology water quality penalty payments go to the state’s Coastal Protection Fund which issues grants to public agencies and tribes for water quality restoration projects. The penalty may be appealed to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.