A Chehalis mill that produces animal feed is being fined $14,000 by the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) for ongoing industrial stormwater violations that threaten the health of Dillenbaugh Creek.
Draper Valley Farms, located at 575 W. Main St., releases water from its industrial activities into a tributary of Dillenbaugh Creek which drains into the Chehalis River. The creek and river are already struggling with high fecal coliform bacteria counts, warm temperatures and low amounts of dissolved oxygen that fish need to survive.
The alleged violations that DOE found are factors that are believed to be contributing to problems with low dissolved oxygen and with fecal coliform bacteria.The mill has been inspected five times since August 2003. Each time, DOE noted permit violations and provided the facility’s management inspection reports and detailed the necessary corrections.
The penalty and order stem from violations, documented during a January 2009 inspection, which were not corrected by a follow up inspection a month later.
Draper Valley Farms has 30 days to respond to Ecology’s penalty. The company can pay the fine, request Ecology’s reconsideration or file an appeal with the Pollution Control Hearings Board.