Washington State Department of Ecology - September 13, 2013

13-231

Mukilteo firm fined for violating water quality permit

BELLEVUE –Production Plating, Inc. of Mukilteo has been fined $11,000 for unsafely storing hazardous materials and repeatedly failing to submit important and timely information about its industrial wastewater, which violated provisions of its water quality discharge permit.

The permit, issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology), sets conditions under which the metal plating and finishing firm may discharge wastewater from its operations to the Mukilteo Water and Wastewater District sanitary sewer system. The permit requires Production Plating to monitor and report on various conditions of its industrial wastewater, including flow, acidity, and metals levels.

The monitoring data helps ensure that the company's discharges won’t damage the district’s sanitary sewer system or harm the treatment process at its Big Gulch Wastewater Treatment Facility, which releases treated wastewater to Puget Sound.

Ecology repeatedly contacted the company about several monthly monitoring reports that weren't submitted in the second half of 2011. Also, during an inspection in early 2012, Ecology staff requested the missing reports. Ecology issued a formal violation notice to the company in late 2012, and finally received the reports more than a year late in early 2013.

"Delayed or missing monitoring data makes it impossible to react promptly, when needed, to ensure proper protection for the city's treatment system from industrial discharges that can raise the potential for the release of toxic pollutants to the environment," said Kevin Fitzpatrick, Ecology's regional water quality supervisor.

The company was also fined for violations of permit requirements for safe storage of incompatible materials. During an inspection in February 2012, Ecology observed containers of strong acids in the same storage compartments as strong bases and cyanide salts. Production Plating is required to store these materials in separate compartments to ensure that spills or leaks do not reach water or generate dangerous reactions, which could produce toxic fumes.

Production Plating may appeal the penalty within 30 days to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.

####

Media Contact:

Larry Altose, Ecology media relations, 425-649-7009, larry.altose@ecy.wa.gov
Jerry Shervey, Ecology water quality program, 425-649-7293, gshe461@ecy.wa.gov

More information:

Water quality point source permits (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/permits/index.html)
Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)