The Washington Department of Ecology has fined a boatyard on the Anacortes waterfront $30,000 for allowing polluted stormwater to flow into Fidalgo Bay, an important habitat for endangered Chinook salmon and other marine life.
Stormwater that flows off the facility at 2417 T Avenue contains high levels of copper and zinc, which are toxic to fish. Copper makes young salmon unable to avoid predators and adults unable to find their home rivers for spawning. Zinc can kill young salmon.
“Marine life is very vulernable to these pollutants,” said Heather Bartlett, manager of Ecology’s Water Quality Program. “Other boatyards successfully prevent this sort of pollution with stormwater treatment and we expect no less of this facility.”
Paints that protect boat hulls from barnacles, algae and other marine growth contain copper and zinc. Maintenance of boat hulls can result in these metals entering stormwater, and treatment is needed at many boatyards.
Ecology also has ordered Marine Servicecenter to install a stormwater treatment system within 90 days. The order also gives the facility six months to put in place measures that prevent the metals from getting into stormwater.
Ecology water quality penalty payments go to the state’s Coastal Protection Fund, from which the agency issues grants to local and tribal governments, state agencies, and public benefit nonprofit organizations for water quality restoration projects. Ecology penalties and orders may be appealed to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.