The Washington Department of Ecology has settled a dispute over a water quality penalty it issued J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding during January 2010.
 
Ecology agreed to reduce the penalty to $17,000 – as long as the Tacoma-based shipbuilder completes a berming and paving project that will ensure all of the site’s stormwater is sent to the company’s new stormwater treatment system.
“Ecology was impressed by how quickly J.M. Martinac responded to address the  problem by building its own stormwater treatment system, which has proven effective for removing pollutants from their runoff,” said Kelly Susewind, who manages Ecology’s Water Quality Program.

Ecology initially penalized J.M. Martinac $50,000 for stormwater discharges that had greater amounts of zinc and copper than the shipbuilder’s Clean Water Act permit allows. Ecology notified the company of the violations on seven separate occasions but didn’t see any steps taken to correct the problems.

The company requested Ecology reconsider the $50,000 penalty in light of additional facts, including its installation of a new stormwater treatment system. Ecology responded by reducing the penalty to $34,000. Despite the reduction, J.M. Martinac appealed to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board. Settlement talks ahead of the appeal hearing led to this agreement.
 
Because Ecology and J.M. Martinac reached the settlement, the Pollution Control Hearings Board has dismissed the company’s appeal.