Department of Ecology News Release - April 1, 2015

Ecology and Snoqualmie settle water quality penalty appeal

SNOQUALMIE – The city of Snoqualmie has paid $12,000 to the Washington Department of Ecology as part of an agreement to settle the city’s appeal of a $32,000 water quality penalty issued last year by Ecology.

Ecology and Snoqualmie agreed to reduce the amount to $22,000, and also agreed to suspend payment of another $10,000. Ecology will dismiss that amount if the city completes a set of previously planned wastewater treatment system projects by May 31, 2017. The city also must remain in compliance with its water quality permit during that time.

The original penalty stemmed from the city’s problems in preparing for and responding to a November 2013 incident, during which a brief power surge rendered some of the wastewater treatment equipment inoperable for about 24 hours. 

“This settlement will close the book on that incident,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, Ecology’s water quality program section manager for the Northwest Regional Office. “It maps out a path for Snoqualmie to make long-term improvements. We look forward to continuing our work with the city in protecting water quality.”

“Our goal is and always has been to protect water quality” said Dan Marcinko, the city’s public works director. “The agreement’s focus on a dedicated schedule for improvements advances that goal, and we welcome the opportunity to work together with Ecology to make them happen.”

As part of the settlement, Snoqualmie agreed to complete several projects to improve its wastewater treatment plant:

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Contacts:

Larry Altose, Ecology communications, 425-649-7009, @EcySeattle

Shawn McKone, Ecology water quality program, 425-649-7037