Sea-Tac Airport, Contractors Fined $20,000
The Department of Ecology (Ecology) fined the Port of Seattle and
two contractors $20,000 for allowing four releases of muddy stormwater
from Sea-Tac Airport's north expressway project into storm systems that
drain to Gilliam Creek and Des Moines Creek, officials announced on
The violations occurred in November and December 2006, and January and August 2007.
Ecology issued the penalty jointly to the port, which owns and
operates the airport, and to Mowat Construction Co. of Woodinville and
Scarsella Brothers Inc. of Seattle, contractors for the expressway
The port is building a segment of light rail and re-aligning roadways
to link Sound Transit's Sound Link light rail project to Sea-Tac
"The port and its contractors must prevent untreated, muddy water
from entering these streams," said Ecology's Kevin Fitzpatrick, who
oversees water quality activities for northwest Washington. "This
project will continue for two more years, marking it particularly
important to take all steps needed to protect the environment."
Four incidents prompted Ecology's actions:
- Nov. 10, 2006: A temporary stormwater detention pond
overflowed after a pump was left on, causing an estimated 45,000
gallons of untreated, muddy stormwater to discharge into a storm drain
that emptied into Gilliam Creek.
- Dec. 14, 2006: A sump, plugged with leaves, was unable to pump
water to catch basins at the construction site. While crews tried to
fix the pump, they broke off its outlet pipe, rendering the pump
inoperable. For about two hours, approximately 12,000 gallons of muddy
stormwater overflowed and entered the storm drain.
- Jan. 3, 2007: Another sump pump got plugged with leaves and
released an undetermined amount of muddy stormwater into the east fork
of Des Moines Creek.
- Aug. 20, 2007: An undersized sump pump that didn't meet
specifications under the port's stormwater control plan allowed an
undetermined amount of muddy stormwater to overflow into a ditch that
drained to nearby Gilliam Creek.
"We take our role as environmental stewards seriously and we regret
the incidents that led to this notice of penalty," said Aviation
Managing Director Mark Reis. "In each case, port staff discovered the
violations, reported the incidents to the Department of Ecology, and
worked with on-site contractors and Department of Ecology staff to take
immediate corrective action" The port, Mowat Construction Co. and
Scarsella Brothers Inc. may appeal the penalty to Ecology and to the
state Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days.
For more information, contact Ecology at www.ecy.wa.gov/ecyhome.html.