SEATTLE — EPA announced that an agreement has been reached with Richard Phillips Marine Inc. and Clackamas County Water Environmental Services in Oregon to resolve Clean Water Act violations that allegedly occurred during repairs to the county’s Hoodland Sewage Treatment Plant, which discharges into the Sandy River, according to a press release.
Located 45 miles east of Portland, the Hoodland Sewage Treatment Plant serves approximately 4,000 residents and businesses in the community of Welches, Oregon, stated the release.
The release reported that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit in 2012 authorizing Clackamas County to discharge up to 260 cubic yards of fill material to the Sandy River in a 0.01 acre area, as part of a project to relocate and repair the plant’s sewage outfall pipes damaged in a 2011 flood event.
The Oregon Department of State Lands and the Army Corps of Engineers, continued the release, received calls reporting “substantial work occurring in the middle of the Sandy River” during the outfall repair, and an investigation revealed that the repairs to the outfall resulted in the discharge of around 950 cubic yards of fill material into a 0.05 acre area.
“Permits act as safeguards for sensitive habitats and animal species while allowing projects to move forward,” said Michael Szerlog, manager of the Aquatic Resources Unit in the EPA Seattle Office. “In this case, permit conditions were not followed and the result was a fish kill in valuable habitat.”
Clackamas County agreed to a $10,000 and Richard Phillips Marine Inc. agreed to a $20,000 fine, as part of the agreement with EPA, noted the release.
You can find the entire release here.