The Washington Department of Ecology is penalizing Ace Hardware $28,000 for a January 2020 spill to the Snoqualmie River. $3,000 of the penalty is for polluting state waters, and $25,000 is for negligence.
On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, an Ace Hardware Corporation semi-truck was heading westbound on Interstate 90 from Yakima. Due to snow and ice conditions, the posted speed limit was 45 mph, and chains were required. The driver was traveling at 64.5 mph without chains. The truck and trailer slid off the road and wrecked. The fuel tank ruptured and about 120 gallons of diesel spilled to the nearby ditch, stormwater system, and south fork of the Snoqualmie River. The driver was cited by State Patrol for not chaining up.
Diesel contains carcinogetic compounds, is acutely toxic and can persist in the environment. When spilled, it can coat wildlife, impairing fish, birds and other creatures quickly.
“Travel advisories are not just for safety, they also prevent spills. We encourage all drivers to adhere to warnings to prevent accidents, injuries, and damage to our environment,” said Dale Jensen, Ecology’s Spills Program manager. “If this driver had taken the proper precautions, diesel would not have entered the Snoqualmie river.”
Ace Hardware has 30 days to appeal the penalty to the Pollution Control Hearings Board.