Ecology fines I-205 project contractor
Source: http://www.columbian.com, March 18, 2016
By: Dameon Pesanti
Cascade Bridge allowed muddy runoff into Burnt Bridge Creek
The Department of Ecology fined Vancouver-based contractor Cascade Bridge $33,000 for allowing muddy runoff to pour into Burnt Bridge Creek along a construction site at Interstate 205.
Heavy rains caused muddy runoff to flow into Burnt Bridge Creek on Dec. 3, 4, and 7 from the construction site of the 560-foot onramp bridge from Northeast 18th Street onto Interstate 205.
“I haven’t seen one this severe in … I can’t remember when,” Sheila Pendleton-Orme, senior construction stormwater inspector for the Department of Ecology, said about the permit violation. “That’s one of the reasons we took an enforcement action.”
An Ecology news release said the department visited the site several times and tried to provide technical assistance to correct the issues and prevent runoff before issuing the fine. Also it said Cascade Bridge didn’t stabilize soil stockpiles to prevent erosion and didn’t properly contain hazardous materials kept on site.
Cascade Bridge was hired by the Washington Department of Transportation, which also offered corrective assistance.
“Environmental violations are unacceptable,” said WSDOT spokesman Bart Treece. “We will continue to work with the contractor so they can maintain environmental compliance through the length of the rest of project.”
Cascade Bridge was initially notified it was out of compliance with its construction stormwater permit in August 2015. Ecology documented violations that month and in October and November.
Muddy runoff degrades fish habitat and water quality. Salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout inhabit Burnt Bridge Creek. But the waterway is polluted with fecal bacteria from nearby human activity.
Cascade Bridge didn’t respond to requests for comment. The company has 30 days to pay the fine or file an appeal with the Pollution Control Hearings Board.