BELLINGHAM, Wash. –
The Washington Department of Ecology is issuing a $53,000 penalty to Myron Williams, Inc., for failing to protect water quality at its mining operation at Egg Lake Quarry on San Juan Island. This business has not complied with the requirements to protect water quality that must be followed by all sand and gravel businesses, despite repeated technical assistance, warning letters, and a field penalty from Ecology inspectors.
During a March 2021 site visit, Ecology inspectors documented numerous permit violations, including failure to safely store petroleum products and other hazardous substances, failure to clean up spills and leaks of pollutants, failure to label potentially hazardous substances, failure to monitor stormwater discharges to groundwater, and failure to submit information and reports. A follow-up site visit in August 2022 showed that many violations from the previous site visit were continuing to occur.
"This operation continually fails to meet their responsibilities to protect water quality and comply with standard permit requirements, leaving us no choice but to issue a fine for these violations," said Vince McGowan, Water Quality program manager for Ecology. “Moving forward, we expect the organization to make improvements in their operations to better protect water quality and the surrounding area from the hazardous substances they have onsite.”
Since 2018, Ecology has attempted to bring this business into compliance with the water quality permit, issuing several warning letters, a previous notice of violation, and a field penalty for failing to comply with permit requirements.
Myron Williams, Inc. has 30 days to pay the fine or to appeal the penalty to Washington’s Pollution Control Hearings Board.
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.