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News Releases from Region 10

Manke Lumber Stormwater Settlement with EPA Will Reduce Water Pollution, Enhance Salmon Habitat

05/20/2019
Contact Information: 
Bill Dunbar (dunbar.bill@epa.gov)
206-553-1019

(SEATTLE) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Manke Lumber, Inc., that resolves alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. This settlement is the latest in a series of enforcement actions taken by EPA Region 10 to address stormwater violations from industrial facilities and construction sites throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

"This settlement means less stormwater pollution and more salmon habitat for Puget Sound,” said EPA Regional Administrator Chris Hladick. "By upgrading & improving their stormwater controls and restoring habitat, Manke is investing in the future. Reducing stormwater pollution furthers our work to protect and restore Puget Sound."

During inspections in July and September of 2014 of Manke’s Hylebos Waterway facility, EPA found process water discharges which are prohibited under the Washington Department of Ecology’s Industrial Stormwater General Permit, and violations of EPA’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) regulations.  The Hylebos Waterway is a former Superfund clean-up site in Puget Sound, and is on the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) impaired waters list. 

Wastewater from lumber yards typically contains high pH, wood debris, oils, and high levels of solids. When these solids settle they can form sediment deposits that destroy plant life and spawning grounds of fish.

In the face of allegations that Manke Lumber failed to fully comply with Clean Water Act stormwater management regulations, the company agreed to pay a $320,000 penalty, build a treatment system to address ongoing water quality violations, and invest in a Supplementary Environmental Project that will allow for approximately 38 acres of undeveloped land to be permanently set aside for conservation and recreational purposes, including 1,500 feet of Goldsborough Creek, 580 feet of a tributary, and a riparian corridor covering approximately 20 acres.

The main habitat functions provided by the Supplementary Environmental Project site are:

  • abundant, good quality spawning habitat for coho and chum salmon, and steelhead;

  • shade, food and nutrient input from vegetation overhanging the creek;

  • creek flow maintenance and regulation provided by an undeveloped floodplain; and

  • the prevention of pollution in the form of runoff, lawn chemicals and septic effluent from residential development, from entering Goldsborough Creek and ending up in Oakland Bay and Puget Sound.

Once the agreement is lodged in federal court, there is a 30-day Public Notice and Comment period. To submit a public comment go to: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees

For more information on stormwater compliance and enforcement:

https://www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-stormwater-program

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