Developer fined for White River discharge

The state Department of Ecology says a Pierce County developer, Michelson Knapp Land Venture, allowed muddy stormwater from a Sumner construction site to pollute the White River despite warnings to take preventive measures.

The department levied a $34,000 fine against Michelson Knapp for what it claims were four separate violations of the company’s stormwater permit. The department claimed it has worked with the company since 2013 to implement safeguards, but the company failed to follow through.

"We expect construction firms to operate on a level playing field, investing and implementing the standard practices accepted by the industry as the best way to prevent pollution reaching our rivers and streams," said Rich Doenges, water quality section manager for Ecology's Southwest region. "Unfortunately, the developer ignored those practices and polluted the White River."

Michelson Knapp's construction sites are at the Sumner Corporate Park Cascade and Glacier Building in Sumner, the department said. Michelson Knapp can appeal the penalty to the Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days.

The company maintained it is a good corporate citizen and that it consistently implements effective pollution control measures at its construction sites.

John Gillie: 253-597-8663