Two Penalties Levied Against Vancouver, Wash., Subdivision Project
On Oct. 1, the Washington state Department of Ecology issued two
penalties totaling $39,000 against the developers and a contractor
responsible for construction of the Columbia River Crossing subdivision
The project is a nine-lot housing subdivision on 2.89 acres located
near the 17000 block of Evergreen Highway and unrelated to the proposed
Columbia River Crossing bridge project.
David White and Boyd Williams of White Williams Development and Joe
Thompson of Thompson Bros. Excavation were fined individually by
Ecology for water quality violations. White Williams Development
received a $21,000 fine for violating the terms of the construction
stormwater general permit; Thompson received a fine of $18,000 for
allowing unlawful discharges of stormwater.
Ecology inspectors visited the construction site six times in 2007
and noted repeated construction stormwater violations. For instance,
the steep slope of the property and active springs onsite required the
contractor and developers to carefully control any erosion. The methods
used were insufficient to control sediment and water runoff.
As a result of ineffective stormwater pollution prevention
practices, sediment-laden water emptied into a stormwater ditch that
drains to the Columbia River.
When sediment enters water, it transports pollutants it picks up
along the way. Sediment also covers essential spawning beds, depletes
oxygen levels in the water and can harm fish.
After four visits, Ecology issued an administrative order to White
Williams and Thompson Bros. in April 2007 requiring corrective action.
Two more site inspections took place in May. The inspector continued to
document violations of the permit and administrative order.
"Ecology starts from the premise that contractors and developers
want to comply with environmental laws and we work hard to provide
education and technical assistance to help them do so," said Garin
Schrieve, an Ecology water quality manager. "But when people still
don't take steps to control their pollution, Ecology has to escalate
White Williams Development and Thompson Bros. Excavation have 30
days to pay their fines, appeal their individual penalties to the state
Pollution Control Hearings Board or ask Ecology for reconsideration
through an application for relief.
For more information, contact Ecology at www.ecy.wa.gov.