State fines Sumner company for June vinegar spill

The state is fining Fleischmann’s Vinegar $23,000 related to a June spill at its Sumner plant.

Corroded steel hoops failed on a wooden storage tank, spilling about 2,000 gallons of concentrated vinegar into two stormwater ponds and onto the ground, the state Department of Ecology said Thursday.

The substance is about three times the strength of household vinegar, and can cause skin burns and eye damage, the agency said.

Equipment leaked for weeks after the initial spill, the state said, and the company did not report the incident – an anonymous source reported it.

The company has since started building a containment berm around its tanks, among taking other steps, the state said.

Fleischmann’s has until Sept. 30, 2015 to inspect its wooden tanks, repair any leaks, and replace corroded hoops.

It has 30 days to appeal the fine.

The company could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday night.