Judge orders Toppenish to pay clean-air fees

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- A Yakima County judge has ordered the city of Toppenish to pay annual fees to the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency.

The Yakima Heralds reports (http://bit.ly/wsgaRi ) that city officials stopped paying the fees five years ago because Toppenish is on the Yakama reservation, which is under the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Superior Court Judge Michael G. McCarthy said in an oral ruling Thursday that Toppenish is still on the hook for the assessments.

Yakima attorney Pat Spurgin is representing Toppenish. He says the city is waiting for the judge's written decision before deciding whether to challenge it.

A clean air agency spokesman says Toppenish owes about $13,000.

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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com