The Washington Department of Ecology issued $181.9 million in penalties of $1,000 or more during July through September. The large dollar figure this quarter is mostly attributed to two penalties, one for more than $176 million to Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., and another for $444,000 to Total Reclaim, Inc.
Ecology works with thousands of businesses and individuals to help them comply with state laws. Penalties are issued in cases where non-compliance continues after Ecology has provided technical assistance or warnings, or for particularly serious violations.
The money owed from penalties may be reduced from the issued amount due to settlement or court rulings. Funds collected go to the state’s general fund or to dedicated pollution prevention accounts.
Ecology strives to protect, preserve and enhance Washington’s environment and promote wise management for current and future generations. When someone pollutes Washington’s land, air or waters, Ecology enforces state and federal regulations in hopes of changing behavior and deterring future violations.
Penalties for July - September 2016
|Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
|Volkswagen Group of America violated state motor vehicle emission requirements by installing illegal software on many of its diesel vehicles to falsify emissions tests. News Release
|Camille St. Onge,
|US DOE Hanford Facility
|The Office of River Protection (ORP) did not document Good Cause for an Extension of M-45-92 milestone. ORP reported 45-92 milestone elements as "on schedule" between October 21, 2014, through March 26, 2015.
|US DOE Hanford Facility; CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company
|U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) for mishandling dangerous waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. News Release
|Failed to use best management practices under construction stormwater permit to prevent runoff at the Pleasant View Estates development. Soils were tracked off site onto a public road extending over a block. Stockpiles were not stabilized along with bare soils not actively being worked.
|Cosmo Specialty Fibers Inc.
|Violated wastewater discharge permit for BOD (5-days Biochemical Oxygen Demand)
|Ridgewood Limited Trust; Leo Warren
|Logging slash, and landscaping debris disposed in a Category II estuarine wetland. The fill material was exposed to rain and tidal flooding with no best management practices installed to prevent turbid water from running off into the adjacent wetland or the Copalis River.
|Washington Dept. of Transportation and Flatiron West Inc.
|Joint penalty for nine releases into Lake Washington in Seattle along the State Route 520 Bridge project West Approach Bridge North segment between March 2015 and April 2016. Under appeal. News Release
|Total Reclaim Inc.
|Company illegally disposed of flat-screen televisions and monitors with fluorescent tubes containing toxic mercury. The company shipped the flat screens to Hong Kong, where they were broken apart in the open by unprotected workers. News Release
|Jessies Ilwaco Fish Co.
|A pump failed at a fish processing facility in Ilwaco, discharging untreated wastewater to Baker Bay. The company did not report the discharge to Ecology in a timely manner.
|Ponderay Newsprint Company
|For operating diesel engines at its Usk facility without a permit. Penalty paid. News Release
|Plummer Forest Products
|For operating diesel engines at Ponderay Newsprint Company in Usk without a permit. Penalty paid.
|The Rush Companies - Commercial
|Construction stormwater permit violations, including failing to implement best management practices to prevent runoff at Edgewood Crossing Apartments.
|Benjamin Ryan Communities LLC
|Numerous violations of the construction stormwater general permit, including failing to have a pollution prevention plan and best management practices check-list at Devonshire development.
|Inland Washington LLC
|Violations of the construction stormwater general permit, including failing to notify and implement best management practices to prevent runoff.
|Burned prohibited materials from a structure.
|During a sewer replacement project, a Strider Construction crew installed a temporary bypass sewer pump and connected it to what they believed to be a sewer line, but it was actually a storm drain. As much as 300,000 gallons of untreated sewage flowed into Padden Creek. News Release
|City of Bellingham
|During a sewer replacement project, a contractor working for the city of Bellingham mistakenly connected a bypass sewer pump to a storm drain, which resulted in as much as 300,000 gallons of untreated sewage flowing into Padden Creek. The city reviewed and approved the sewer bypass plan which included an incomplete map that did not clearly identify the location of the sewer manhole, which led to the mistake. News Release
Missing from the second quarterly penalty summary (April-June 2016)
|The Port of Olympia
|Repeated violations of industrial stormwater permit, and for discharging hydrogen peroxide solution to the stormwater system. The discharge reached the LOTT treatment plant and did not enter surface water.