Washington Department of Ecology fines Portland contractor over water quality issue

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Washington state ecology officials have fined a Portland contractor $135,000 for repeated water quality violations while working on Ridgefield’s Vista Ridge subdivision.

The fines were imposed by the Washington Department of Ecology for violations that occurred from September 2021 through February 2022, the Columbian reported.

According to Ecology, the contractor, 1108 South Hillhurst Subdivision LLC, was fined for “repeatedly discharging polluted construction stormwater into a tributary of Gee Creek. The company also failed to follow many of the best management practices required under its General Stormwater Building Permit, despite being offered technical assistance on at least five occasions by construction staff. Ecology.

Ecology inspectors documented seven instances of polluted construction stormwater flowing into a tributary of Gee Creek. Other permit violations included failure to submit discharge monitoring reports, insufficient sediment checks and unstabilized soils, according to an ecology news release.

Runoff from construction sites can carry muddy water and debris into local waterways where sediment, chemicals and debris can harm aquatic life and reduce water quality.

Gee Creek is a tributary of the Columbia River that runs through the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and several neighborhoods in Ridgefield.

The contractor has 30 days to pay the fine or appeal it to the Pollution Control Hearings Board.

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