The Washington Department of Ecology has issued a $56,000 fine to Puyallup-based RM Homes LLC for multiple water quality violations at an Edwards Drive construction site in Gig Harbor.
Violations included the failure to install sediment controls, stabilize soils, protect drain inlets, manage dewatering, and operate the construction project in accordance with permit requirements. Inspectors noted 15 water quality violations despite warnings and technical assistance offered by Ecology.
Between January and April of this year, Ecology inspectors documented numerous instances of polluted stormwater leaving the site. The unpermitted discharges were attributed to soil grading errors, inadequate stormwater holding capacity, failure to consider seasonal work limitations, and lack of maintenance of pollution prevention measures like soil stabilization and onsite stormwater management.
Stormwater runoff from construction sites can carry muddy water, debris, and chemicals into local waterways. Sediments, chemicals, and debris can harm aquatic life and reduce water quality. Ecology requires regulated construction projects like the Edwards Drive site to get coverage under the Construction Stormwater General Permit.
RM Homes LLC has 30 days to appeal the penalty to the Pollution Control Hearings Board.