Tacoma Concrete Plant Gets Fine for Stormwater Violations

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) levied $147,000 fine against a Tacoma manufacturer of concrete products for violations of its sand and gravel permit and failure to treat contaminated stormwater, according to a Feb. 4 press release.

Ecology inspectors cited Hanson Pipe and Precast Inc., for 27 violations of the pollutant levels specified in its sand and gravel permit from the second quarter of 2007 through the second quarter of 2008. The company's Tacoma plant is located at 4601 South Orchard, Tacoma.

"Hanson Pipe and Precast is not taking adequate measures to treat its stormwater and correct the violations. The company's quarterly monitoring reports continue to show violations," said Kelly Susewind, Ecology's Water Quality Program manager. "These are repeat violations. Hanson has been fined for these practices in the past."

Stormwater from the Hanson property is becoming contaminated from poor housekeeping practices of the waste from the manufacturing of its products, including concrete pipes, manholes, and catch basins. The company's Web site identifies Hanson as the largest manufacturer of concrete products in North America.

Stormwater from the Hanson plant flows into Leach Creek via the city of Tacoma's storm sewer system. Leach Creek flows into Chambers Creek (a salmon-bearing stream), which carries stormwater to Puget Sound. In times of heavy rain, part of the flow of Leach Creek is diverted by a Tacoma pumping station to Tacoma's Thea Foss Waterway.

Ecology cited the company for failure to:

• prevent the discharge of wastewater resulting from concrete manufacturing,

• comply with permitted discharge limits,

• control concrete dust, and

• prevent oil from contaminating stormwater.