Western Timber Products pays $222,400 EPA penalty for Clean Water Act violations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today Western Timber Products, Inc of Coeur d' Alene, Idaho has agreed to pay a $222,400 penalty for Clean Water Act violations.
During inspections in May 2019 and January 2021, EPA found the company failed to obtain the required Clean Water Act permits for timber processing facilities it operates in Council and Weiser, Idaho. The Council facility discharged both wastewater and stormwater without a permit and the Weiser facility discharged stormwater without a permit.
Wastewater and stormwater discharge from timber processing facilities typically contains high pH, wood debris, arsenic, metals, oils, and high levels of solids. When these solids settle, they can form sediment deposits that destroy plant life and spawning grounds, and affect overall water quality.
“Preventing excessive pollutants from entering canals, creeks, and rivers ensures healthy ecosystems for humans and aquatic life,” said Ed Kowalski, director of EPA Region 10’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “EPA works to protect public health and the environment by limiting pollution in runoff from industrial activities. When companies comply with permits, they’re better equipped to prevent and reduce potential discharge of industrial pollution.”
In separate EPA orders for the Council and Weiser facilities, the company has agreed to obtain the required permits for both facilities and to conduct regular monitoring of stormwater. Additionally, the company will submit stormwater evaluation reports, revise its stormwater pollution prevention plans, provide documented annual trainings for its employees, and submit progress reports.