Published On: Wed, Nov 21st, 2018

Washington Fines Clark County Companies for Water Quality Violations

Clark County officials are fining two companies for water quality violations. The Washington Department of Ecology will be fining Intech Enterprises Inc. $3,000 for not submitting their discharge monitoring reports for a period of three quarters in 2016. The company is required, as per their industrial stormwater general permit, to submit monitoring reports.

The company claims that they will be appealing the fines.

photo/ Clker-Free-Vector-Images

Ken Leahy Construction is also being fined $2,000 for water quality violations. The company had failed to address their construction stormwater permit. Soil and sediment were allowed to track off of the site of the portside Lagoon and Landfill in Vancouver as a result of these violations.

The Department has been handing out violations since July, assessing over $401,000 in violations that exceed $1,000 through September. Businesses often work with organizations to ensure that they comply with states laws and avoid violations.

The violations come at an interesting time as other organizations are starting to wave water quality standards in some areas. EPA officials recently announced that they would be waiving quality standards in Silver Bow Creek.

The proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency is for the water to waive the quality standards during storms. The standards, as of right now, relate to copper and zinc in both Blacktail and Silver Bow creek.

Federal standards for both metals will still exist, but the proposal will waive the standards from the creeks between Lexington Avenue and the interstate overpass. The public will have the final say on the proposal, which the EPA released on Monday. The proposal is called the Draft Technical Impractability Evaluation, and it is required to change the cleanup strategy under Butte Hill.

Metals enter creeks in the area through ways that are not easy to solve, especially when storms occur. The spring time is one where copper and zinc are able to flow into the rivers, causing exceedance levels to rise to as high as 90% during storms in the past. Zinc levels, between 2008 and 2013, have reached levels as high as 24% exceedance, suggesting that the area will always have exceedance levels during storms.

The document claims that the rivers are very unlikely to ever be able to meet state standards during a storm, especially in the spring months.

EPA officials are additionally suggesting that after 2024, more waives of chemicals in the area’s water may be presented, including waiving the exceedance of silver, lead and cadmium.

Author: Jacob Maslow

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