Ecology issues more than $141,000 in second quarter penalties

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) issued $141,800 in penalties of $1,000 or more in the second quarter (April, May, June) of 2013.

Ecology issues individual news releases for penalties of $10,000 or greater. A particular penalty may be fully satisfied at this time or in the process of an appeal or settlement discussions.

Of the seven penalties in King County, all but one business was located in Seattle.

Communities, families and businesses depend on clean air, land and water, and on reliable water supplies. Complying with our state’s and our nation’s laws helps assure this. See Ecology’s “Protecting Washington's Quality of Life” website portal for more information.

Ecology works with thousands of businesses and individuals to help them comply with these laws. Penalties are issued in cases where non-compliance continues after Ecology has provided technical assistance or warnings, or for particularly serious violations.

The money owed from penalties may be reduced from the issued amount due to a ruling by the Pollution Control Hearings Board or a negotiated settlement. Ecology doesn’t benefit from penalty payments. The final penalty amount owed and collected is deposited in special accounts that pay for environmental restoration and enhancement projects, research and development, permitting and regulatory programs, and education and assistance.

The most common accounts receiving collected penalties are:

• Coastal Protection (RCW 90.48.400 and RCW 90.48.390)

• Vessel Response (RCW 90.56.335)

• Underground Storage Tank (RCW 90.76.100)

• Air Pollution Control (RCW 70.94.015)

• Biosolids (RCW 70.95J.025)

• State Toxics Control (RCW 70.105D.070)

• Oil Spill Prevention (RCW 90.56.510)

• Reclamation (RCW 18.104.155 and RCW 89.16.020)

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