The Washington Department of Ecology and Frank Tiegs LLC have reached a settlement over a penalty resulting from the illegal irrigation of 250 acres of farmland in Franklin County in 2021. Under the settlement, Frank Tiegs LLC will pay a $125,000 penalty.
Ecology initially issued a penalty of $304,000 on Oct. 20, 2021, after an investigation found Frank Tiegs LLC was irrigating from McNary Pool without a water right in March 2021. McNary Pool is located on the Snake River where it meets the main stem of the Columbia River.
Frank Tiegs LLC has cooperated with Ecology to resolve the issue, and the company now has authorized use of water to irrigate the 250 acres in 2022.
Since 1993, the Columbia River has been managed under a rule that requires mitigation for new surface water withdrawals. The mitigation must replace or offset the water used under a new right. Ecology has developed programs to make water available to offset new water use for cities, industries and irrigated farms.