The Washington Department of Ecology fined a Mukilteo business $70,500 for failing to ensure its industrial wastewater discharges met state limits for toxic metals and other pollutants.
Applied Aero Systems, LLC (AAS) failed to properly monitor its wastewater discharges, and did not submit 23 monitoring reports to Ecology. The violations occurred throughout 2019 and through July 2020. The company also missed deadlines in a 2019 order to correct previous violations that date from 2016.
The order listed violations that included pollutant levels above permit limits in wastewater discharges, failure to provide adequate treatment, and failure to monitor the wastewater discharges.
Under its water quality permit, AAS is required to sample, monitor, and remove industrial pollutants as needed in its wastewater, and then report to Ecology. The permit limits the toxic metals – including cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, silver, and zinc – cyanide, and toxic organics the company’s wastewater can contain.
“Industries play a critical role in helping protect Puget Sound,” said Vince McGowan, manager of Ecology’s Water Quality Program. “Applied Aero Systems left us no choice but to fine them for years of failing to follow the most fundamental requirements of their water quality permit.”
AAS discharges its wastewater to the Mukilteo Water and Wastewater District’s wastewater treatment plant through the local sewer. Without proper pre-treatment, industrial pollutants can harm the wastewater plant or pass through untreated into Puget Sound.
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. AAS may appeal the penalty to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.