Department of Ecology News Release - December 6, 2016

Sumner company settles fine for spilling vinegar into White River

OLYMPIA – After spilling 10,000 gallons of vinegar into the White River last March, Fleischmann’s Vinegar Company, Inc. of Sumner has paid $2,000 and completed an environmental project to settle its penalty from the Department of Ecology.

For their environmental improvement project, the company increased lighting efficiency at their Sumner facility by two-thirds, reducing its annual electricity consumption by 10,525 kilowatt-hours per year.

Ecology issued the original penalty for $10,000 in May 2016. The company agreed to settle the penalty in August by paying $2,000 and making at least $8,000 in energy efficiency improvements to its Sumner facility. The improvements were completed in October.

Fleischmann’s also took immediate steps after the incident occurred to prevent future spills by removing a faulty valve and replacing bypass lines.

The low pH acidity of vinegar can harm aquatic insects, amphibians and fish in the White River.

This was the second time in recent years the company has been penalized for spilling vinegar into the river. The previous spill happened in 2014 and the company paid the $23,000 fine.


David Bennett, Ecology communications, 360-407-6239, @ecysw