Monday, March 20, 2023
March 20, 2023

Linkedin Pinterest

Battle Ground contractor to pay $25K fine

By , Columbian staff writer

Years after a Battle Ground contractor released polluted stormwater into a tributary of the East Fork Lewis River, the company now must pay thousands for its violations.

In a settlement with the Department of Ecology, Hamilton Excavating LLC agreed to pay a $25,000 fine for freeing contaminated water into the waterway during the construction of the Highland Terrance Subdivision in La Center. The contractor must also provide $90,000 to an environmental project benefitting the Lewis River watershed’s water quality and enroll at least one prime employee in stormwater compliance training.

Following an analysis spanning between November 2020 and October 2021, the state agency identified seven instances where the contractor allowed its polluted water to flow into the natural waterway nearby. Hamilton Excavation also failed to notify the state of “high sediment discharges, insufficient sediment controls, and destabilized soils and channels,” according to the Department of Ecology.

East Fork Lewis River and its offshoots are prime habitats for winter and summer steelhead, coho, chum and fall chinook, which are all listed in the Endangered Species Act. Construction stormwater can carry debris and chemicals into natural water bodies, harming aquatic life and ecosystems in the process.

The Department of Ecology directs penalty payments to Washington’s Coastal Protection Fund, a grant provider for public agencies and tribes to invest in water restoration.