Rotschy Inc. will pay $101,000 to the Washington Department of Ecology under an agreement to settle an appeal of a larger penalty for nine water quality violations.
Ecology fined the company $131,000 in March 2022 for violations between October 2021 and January 2022. The company released sediment and dirty construction stormwater into wetlands and Packard Creek. It also failed to adequately stabilize soils on the construction site, leading to erosion that released muddy construction stormwater offsite.
In the settlement, Ecology and Rotschy Inc. agreed to the reduced penalty. Ecology will retain the right to pursue future enforcement actions if additional violations occur. If the penalty is not paid within 30 days, the entire $131,000 penalty will become immediately due and the company will forfeit its right to appeal.
Stormwater runoff from construction sites can carry muddy water, debris, and chemicals into local waterways, which is why contractors like Rotschy Inc. are required to follow the terms of a statewide Construction Stormwater General Permit. Once released, these sediments, chemicals, and debris can harm aquatic life and reduce water quality.
Water quality penalty payments to Ecology are placed into the state’s Coastal Protection Fund, which provides grants to public agencies and Tribes for water quality restoration projects.