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Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel faces $12,000 fine

Posted by Geeky Swedes on August 31st, 2009

Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel has been fined $12,000 by the Department of Ecology for clean water violations in the Ship Canal.

The Department of Ecology says violations by Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel include “ongoing spills of aggregate — a sand and gravel mixture — from shore-side bunkers” at their facility at 5231 Shilshole Avenue NW into the Lake Washington Ship Canal. State law outlaws the discharge of foreign material to state waters. Other violations cited by the department include lack of a spill-response plan at the facility and not having records of required twice-yearly stormwater inspections.

The Department of Ecology says the company did not respond to repeated attempts made last year to discuss the water-quality problem. After a “Notice of Violation” was issued this last February, the company had 30 days to respond. “This case escalated into a penalty because Salmon Bay did not respond,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, the Department of Ecology’s regional water quality supervisor. “Most of the violations themselves require fairly straightforward corrections.” Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel has the option to seek an Ecology review of the penalty or file an appeal within 30 days with the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.

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88 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Red Baron // Sep 1, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Small change for SBSAG.
    Lawyers would have cost more so why bother.
    Like it was said by another poster: the cost of doing business.
    They'll get it reviewed and overturned.
    If not then at least delay payment for sometime
    Typical state workers trying to justify their paychecks.
    Perhaps some concrete might get spilled accidentally on a few state automobiles.
    More likely a contract with the state will net it back and then some.

  • 2 msballard30 // Sep 1, 2009 at 6:03 am

    That's what we need. More condos.

  • 3 doug11 // Sep 1, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Take ACTION over in the forum…

    We need to let SBS&G we are DISGUSTED by their failure to take State Dept of Ecology violations seriously.

  • 4 doug11 // Sep 1, 2009 at 6:07 am

    I love incidents like this because they provide crystal clear insight into how much these companies care about the environment and their neighbors.

    Everyone should call them and express their disgust.

  • 5 doug11 // Sep 1, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Condos, a bike trail, a restaurant for Christy, and maybe a dog park.

    Sand buyers buy elsewhere.

    Ballard wins.

  • 6 doug11 // Sep 1, 2009 at 6:49 am

    Yeah, everyone is polluting so why shouldn't we….

    Nice attitude. For Texas.

    But wrong for Ballard. Very very wrong.

  • 7 doug11 // Sep 1, 2009 at 6:53 am

    and on appeal. they already lost once.


  • 8 TTTCOTTH // Sep 1, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Ahhhhh yes. Three cheers for all you morons advocating jobs leaving Ballard. Let's all get government jobs and tax ourselves into prosperity.

  • 9 aresident // Sep 1, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    A quote from the article…

    “State law outlaws the discharge of foreign material to state waters. Other violations cited by the department include lack of a spill-response plan at the facility and not having records of required twice-yearly stormwater inspections.”

    Yes, if we do not protect our water quality jobs will leave. The Ballard economy is highly dependent on fishing. The reason these water quality laws are in place is to protect our industry hence local jobs. Illegal dumping in the marine environment harms are economy and eliminates jobs (as well as recreational opportunities). If we want to protect jobs we protect our natural resources.

  • 10 bmvaughn // Sep 1, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I didn't know people fished in Salmon Bay.

    These guys need to clean up their act, pure and simple. Being a profitable company and being a green company are traits that are not mutually exclusive. I wish them the best in cleaning up and then acting as a member of the community to find a solution for the BGT.

  • 11 aresident // Sep 1, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    If you want some actual facts, here is a link to a July2009 Seattle Times article concerning fish runs in the ship canal;

    Paraphrasing the article…The 2009 run was expected to be the lowest on record at 19,000 sockeye. A run of 350,000 sockeye is needed to support recreational and commercial fisheries. In 2006 the run was 453,000, the last year a recreational fishery for sockeye was held in Lake Washington.

    Also note these fish are a major food source for the Orca.

    These runs go directly by the Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel property.

    You are correct bmvaugn, people do not currently fish directly in Salmon Bay but the limited numbers of fish remaining all pass through there.

  • 12 HeatherHeather // Sep 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Yeah, let's not forget we are better humans than they are!

  • 13 ym // Sep 1, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Soooo. They write up a plan and create records of self inspections. that takes a clerk maybe a hour. They plant a little eel grass to mitigate for the few grains of gravel they lost off barges and all is back to normal. Fine retracted and the only one leaving Ballard is doug with his shorts in a wad.

    That's call SOP so all the drama is pointless as well as laughable.

  • 14 NoraBell // Sep 1, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Me too, Boardbrown. But from what I read it doesn't sound like they have any interest in fixing this.

  • 15 SPG // Sep 1, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    we are.

  • 16 doug11 // Sep 1, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    It won't be in front of the hearing examiner.

    They already LOST in front of the hearing examiner.

    The lawsuit is actually an appeal.

  • 17 Mondoman // Sep 1, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Gravel and sand aren't silt, and will sink quite quickly to the bottom. No danger of fish suffocating from that.
    Not responding to the regulators is certainly bad, but the actual spill seems quite benign.

  • 18 Pissedoffballardite // Sep 3, 2009 at 12:40 am

    you should read your own article…

    “This third crummy year in a row is still under analysis by biologists, who likely won't ever be able to finger any one cause. But poor food-production conditions in the ocean are most likely a key factor.”

  • 19 Pissedoffballardite // Sep 3, 2009 at 1:29 am

    I loved reading all of your comments, very amusing. those of you who wish for more condos, bike trails and dog parks instead of jobs are idiots. Who are not even really from Ballard you just live here now because that’s what's in. Followers of the sprawl! companies of Shilshole ave are what made this town. you would not have “my Ballard” without them it would just be Seattle. Ballard does not need more condos or trails. you people don't even use the new one on Seaview you just ride in the road that was shrunk down (for your trail) anyways. but you need more. why waste more money on pointless trails? just ride your bike wherever you want like you already do. about the fines have any of you actually read any legal documents on this or is everyone just blabbing on from hear-say or a blog from some idiot? posting Salmon Bay's # on here wont help anything unless the person calling is in need of help with building I wish that everyone would just leave Ballard alone I loved this place now it's just turning into people who can't be happy with what they have they always need more. stop thinking for other people just improve yourself and let Ballard thrive not suffocate with your ideas of a better society.

  • 20 crownpill // Sep 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Yep, heard this one before, Pissed, “These people should just go away.” We hear it from the eastern Washington and Lewis Co. nut jobs that want Seattle to disappear because of our progressivism. Just like the rest of the State shriveling up if Seattle kept to itself, so would local industrial business without these newcomers you deride. Yeah, I moved to the area, bought a house, pay my s$%t-ton of taxes, and have remodeled said house with materials bought at locally owned business. I'm not saying folks like me are the cornerstone of our local economy, but, without us, there'd be many fewer jobs and a much more depressed community.

    Keep some perspective, man. Honestly.

  • 21 Steve // Jan 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    First, the ship canal itself is an ecological state that does not justify all the regulations. The ship canal is man made, when the locks were constructed they raised the levels of Lake Wa and Union to the point where it is an industrial complex, not a habitat in need of preservation. It’s a high volume transportation corridor, there is no natural habitat to protect, there is nothing about the ship canal that would justify the fine or the harassment. City of Seattle, et al are just putting the pig snout into an old, respected, charitable, companies wallet. Those are the just the jobs we need, blue collar workers, union wages, and the city wants to harass the owners. It’s been a barge terminal for sand and gravel for over 100 years. It is not and wil never again be “natural habitat” to protect. It is an industrial waterway…got that? Industrial waterway, not a polluted natural resource.

  • 22 Xypexcrw // Jan 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    What are you all going to do when this fine old company says screw this…all of our lands and building are paid for..let’s fire 150 employees, stop operations, and sell off the property. Asinine nanny government.

  • 23 Artgog // Jun 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    hey that company has been serving your community for years ,you poor little industry breakers maybe you can get them to move to China like every thing else you buy. 

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