Jun 09, 2021

Mukilteo, Washington, Company Fined $70,500 for Industrial Water Discharge Violations

The business was fined $70,500 for failing to ensure its industrial wastewater discharges met state limits for toxic metals and other pollutants.

industrial water

A Mukilteo, Washington, aerospace company plans to appeal $70,500 in fines from the state for alleged wastewater violations.

The Washington Department of Ecology alleges that Applied Aero Systems released wastewater into the sewer that exceeded state limits for toxic metals and other pollutants. Applied Aero Systems does material coatings and assembly for Boeing and other aerospace firms.

The violations include failure to provide adequate treatment and to monitor the discharges, as industrial pollutants can harm the wastewater plant or pass untreated into Puget Sound, according to the department.

“Industries play a critical role in helping protect Puget Sound,” said Vince McGowan, manager of Ecology’s Water Quality Program in the news release. “Applied Aero Systems left us no choice but to fine them for years of failing to follow the most fundamental requirements of their water quality permit.”

According to the state agency, Applied Aero Systems failed to properly monitor its wastewater discharges and did not submit 23 monitoring reports to the department. The violations occurred throughout 2019 and through July 2020, missing deadlines in a 2019 order to correct previous violations that date from 2016.

Under its water quality permit, Applied Aero Systems is required to sample, monitor, and remove industrial pollutants as needed in its wastewater and then report to Ecology.

According to The Everett Herald, the state documented 47 violations, facing $141,000 in fines. The state cut that number in half, however, in response to the company’s recent efforts to comply and consistently submit discharge reports going forward.

Under its water quality permit, the company is required to sample, monitor and remove industrial pollutants as needed from wastewater and to file reports. The permit limits the toxic metals, including cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, silver and zinc, the company’s wastewater can contain. It also limits the amount of cyanide and toxic organics.

According to company owner Randy Bickle in an email reply to The Daily Herald, “The Department of Ecology would not accept our statement as follows. ‘From the company spokesman: We are working with the Department to implement the necessary system and personnel controls to correct any deficiencies that may have existed to ensure full compliance with permit and regulatory requirements. We intend to work through the appropriate process and appeal both the scope and amount of this assessment. They would not allow the statement regarding our intent to appeal and released without comment from us.”

Applied Aero Systems has until June 21 to appeal or pay.

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