King County will have to pay a fine for multiple sewer overflows at several wastewater treatment plants in the last two years.
The Washington Department of Ecology and US Environmental Protection Agency has fined King County $105,000 for exceeding pollutant limits 18 times in 2017 and 2018 at its four wastewater plants that treat CSO discharges.
According to the Department of Ecology, the penalty involves discharges that entered Puget Sound, the Duwamish River, and Elliott Bay. One of the treatment plants is in Carkeek — an overflow there in December 2017 is cited in the list of penalties.
The violations do not include the county’s main wastewater treatment plants, such as West Point.
Under a 2013 legal agreement, King County is required to control combined sewage overflows according to state regulations.
“While the county has completed projects to reduce CSO discharges over the last several years, additional work is needed to fully meet state requirements,” the Department of Ecology stated in a press release about the violations. “Ecology expects the county to further reduce discharges as current and future projects come on line. Ecology also expects the county to continue efforts to prevent future violations at its CSO treatment plants.”
The state Department of Ecology will receive half of the fine, which will go into the state’s Coastal Protection Fund, giving grants to public agencies and tribes for water quality projects.