Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Department of Ecology fines fertilizer fabricator

| June 23, 2021 1:00 AM

SPOKANE — A Pasco-based fertilizer maker has been fined $25,000 by the Washington State Department of Ecology for operating a mobile fertilizer reactor in Moses Lake without first obtaining an air quality permit.

According to department spokesperson Andrew Wineke, the department levied the fine against Pacific Northwest Solutions after the company produced roughly 650 tons of ammonium polyphosphate liquid fertilizer over the course of three days in early March 2020 without a permit.

Air quality permits are needed for mobile fertilizer reactors because they can produce ammonia and fluorine gases, both of which are toxic and dangerous.

“They could affect people nearby,” Wineke told the Columbia Basin Herald.

The fine, which is fairly large by Department of Ecology standards, is the third against Pacific Northwest Solutions in the last three years. In 2019 and again in 2020, the company was fined $5,000 for failing to properly test equipment to ensure it meets state air quality standards.

“It’s a little escalated,” Wineke said of the fine. “The company has been having trouble meeting their permit limits.”

According to the department, the company has 30 days from the levying of the fine to appeal to the state’s Pollution Control Hearings Board.