Washington Fines Castle Rock for Muddy Discharges

A rock quarry has been fined $13,000 for water quality violations stemming from the failure to stabilize an on-site landslide that dumped muddy water into local creeks that are important for salmon and steelhead, according to a Jan. 13 press release. The Washington Department of Ecology issued the penalty and an administrative order to Jason R. Good Quarry.

The quarry is on Stoneyridge Road in Castle Rock.

The penalty is based on the muddy discharges to local creeks, inaccurate discharge monitoring reports, and failure to follow required plans and best management practices that protect water quality noted in two inspections and follow-up reports. The order requires the company to come into full compliance with the sand and gravel permit.

"Ecology found several critical problems in the way the Jason R. Good Quarry approaches its stormwater management responsibilities," said Garin Schrieve, the state's regional water-quality manager. "The quarry has been slow to respond or make improvements, leaving the potential for more water quality problems in the wettest time of the year. Unfortunately a penalty seems to be the only option we have to spark the needed corrections."

The state agency inspected the site in March 2008 in response to reports of muddy water entering Leckler Creek from the quarry. The inspector discovered a small landslide from the edge of the quarry's slope stabilization terraces. This sent muddy discharges into the North Fork McCorkle and Leckler creeks. The company was aware but hadn't taken any steps to control the discharges from the property as required by the sand and gravel permit.

Leckler Creek is designated as critical habitat for West Coast salmon and steelhead, and it has been the site of several habitat restoration projects.

The permit also requires the quarry to take water samples in areas that would provide an accurate representation of discharges from the quarry to the creek. The quarry's results were inconsistent with Ecology's own sampling taken during the inspection.

Afterwards, the agency sent an inspection report and requested the quarry within 15 days provide specific details for addressing the problems. The quarry didn't respond.

A follow-up inspection in August revealed little had been done to stabilize the landslide area. It also identified gaps between the company's actions and requirements of its stormwater management and erosion and sediment control plans. Another inspection report outlining problems and non-compliance was sent to the quarry. Ecology received a response in mid-November with evidence of some actions taken to stabilize the unstable slope.

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