Washington State Department of Ecology - November 19, 2013

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Settlement boosts protection of Duwamish Waterway

BELLEVUE – A Seattle industrial firm will install new treatment facilities to protect the Duwamish Waterway and has paid a reduced fine to settle a penalty issued earlier this year by the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology).

ConGlobal Industries (ConGlobal) leases, repairs and maintains shipping containers on the waterway’s eastern shore just south of Harbor Island. In a settlement with Ecology, ConGlobal agrees to install treatment technology to remove metal and silt from stormwater that drains to the Duwamish from 23 acres of outdoor industrial areas.

ConGlobal is scheduled to install an interim treatment system by Nov. 30, 2013, with permanent system scheduled by Sept. 30, 2015.

"We look forward to the improved stormwater treatment that ConGlobal will provide," said Kelly Susewind, who manages Ecology’s water quality program. "Excess metals can cause a lot of harm to fish and other marine life, and, with such a large facility, this is a very positive direction for all concerned."

The company has paid $18,000 of the original $35,000 penalty, issued in March. Ecology will dismiss the remaining $17,000 after two years if ConGlobal incurs no further penalties and meets the settlement timetable.

Ecology’s work with ConGlobal and other nearby industrial firms is part of the Duwamish Urban Waters Initiative, a program to visit facilities that are potential sources of pollution to storm drains or sanitary sewers, lack environmental permits, or are potential generators of hazardous waste. A technical specialist helps each company identify whether it needs permits or can make voluntary improvements to its environmental practices.

The Urban Waters Initiative is a cooperative program aimed at controlling sources of pollution to the Duwamish Waterway and two other water bodies. The 2007 Legislature established the Initiative, which also operates along Tacoma’s Commencement Bay and the Spokane River in Spokane.

The Initiative supports Ecology’s work as a co-manager with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of the Lower Duwamish Waterway sediment cleanup site, a 5.5-mile stretch of the Duwamish upstream from Harbor Island. The Initiative also aids in Ecology’s priorities of reducing toxic threats and supporting the Puget Sound Initiative, a comprehensive effort by local, tribal, state and federal governments, business, agricultural and environmental interests, scientists, and the public to restore and protect the Sound.

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Media Contacts:

 Larry Altose, 425-649-7009, larry.altose@ecy.wa.gov, @ecyseattle
 Robert Wright, Ecology Water Quality Specialist, 425-649-7060, robert.wright@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

March 18, 2013 news release (www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2013/078.html)

Lower Duwamish Urban Waters Initiative (www.ecy.wa.gov/urbanwaters/duwamish.html)

Urban Waters Initiative: Source Control (www.ecy.wa.gov/urbanwaters/sourcecontrol.html)

Lower Duwamish Waterway sediment cleanup site (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/sites_brochure/lower_duwamish/lower_duwamish_hp.html)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)