Tacoma, Wash. Company Fined $12,785 for Water Quality Violations
The Washington state Department of Ecology has fined Marine Floats
of Tacoma $12,785 for water quality violations and ordered the company
to correct them, officials announced on Oct. 18.
Marine Floats designs and builds docks, floats and boathouses. The
company operates under a Washington state industrial stormwater general
permit, which governs the release of stormwater. The permit requires
companies to develop a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan that
describes the steps the company will take to protect surface and
During a June 2007 inspection, a company representative admitted to
Ecology staff that Marine Floats has never developed or implemented a
plan in the 13 years since it received permit coverage. The company
also has ignored requirements in place since 2003 requiring companies
to monitor their stormwater discharges and report them to Ecology
quarterly. The company has been reminded of these requirements
repeatedly, but has failed to comply.
During the same visit, Ecology found evidence that Marine Floats is
operating a boatyard without the required permit. The inspector noted
vessels being repaired or painted at the site and a freshly painted
barge moored to a floating dock owned by Marine Floats. The company
also had a raft of treated wood poles floating in the waterway.
"Permits like these exist to help businesses operate in a way that
keeps pollution from harming surface and underground water in our
state," said Ecology Water Quality manager Garin Schrieve. "Marine
Floats is one of thousands of Washington businesses that depend on our
state's beautiful waters. But by ignoring its responsibilities under
the law, Marine Floats threatens to damage the very resource that
Ecology also issued an order directing the company to develop a
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and put it into effect within 14
days. At the same time the company must list practices it will follow
to prevent water pollution and must remove the treated wood from the
water within seven days. And the company must begin the water quality
monitoring and reporting required under its permit.
The order also directs Marine Floats to immediately stop its
boatyard operations. To operate a boatyard, the company must apply to
be covered under a separate permit.
The company has 30 days to pay the fine, ask for Ecology to
reconsider the penalty and order or file an appeal with the state
Pollution Control Hearings Board.
For more information about water quality permits om Washington state, visit www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/permits.