The Washington Department of Ecology has fined 1108 South Hillhurst Subdivision LLC $135,000 for repeated water quality violations, and failing to meet the requirements of the Construction Stormwater General Permit during construction work at the Vista Ridge PUD subdivision in Ridgefield.
The Portland-based contractor is being fined for repeatedly discharging polluted construction stormwater into a tributary of Gee Creek. The company also failed to follow numerous best management practices required under its Construction Stormwater General Permit, despite being offered technical assistance on at least five separate occasions by Ecology staff.
From September of 2021 through February of 2022, Ecology inspectors documented seven instances of polluted construction stormwater that found its way to a tributary of Gee Creek. Other ongoing permit violations included the company failing to submit discharge monitoring reports, insufficient sediment controls, and unstabilized soils.
Gee Creek is a tributary to the Columbia River and a potential home to cutthroat, steelhead, coho, chum, and fall chinook. Ecology, along with its public and private partners, have been working to improve water quality in the Gee Creek watershed through the Gee Creek Watershed Restoration Plan.
Stormwater runoff from construction sites can carry muddy water and debris into local waterways. Sediments, chemicals, and debris can harm aquatic life and reduce water quality. Ecology requires regulated construction sites like the Vista Ridge PUD subdivision to get coverage under the Construction Stormwater General Permit and comply with the permit’s requirements.
1108 South Hillhurst Subdivision LLC has 30 days to pay the penalty or appeal it to the Pollution Control Hearings Board.