The spill occurred July 29. Rubber debris already is likely more than 40 miles downriver in Puget Sound. The pollution is the result of unpermitted use of thousands of yards of artificial turf by the dam’s owners while reconstructing parts of the dam.
Electron Hydro, did not inform regulators of the pollution discharge until Aug. 4. A stop-work order was imposed on the company’s construction project Aug. 7 by Pierce County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Puget Sound Energy, the previous owner of the dam, sold the dam to Electron in 2014, but still sells electricity from the project.
I would think it would be impossible to clean up all those tiny little pieces of rubber.
I honestly had to laugh when I read this, because the dam owner’s use of the “astro turf” is so monumentally stupid.
This fiasco on the Puyallup is unforgiveable idiocy. I’d think federal charges for violations of the Clean Water Act would be appropriate (at the minimum.) Hopefully the Puyallup Tribe’s legal team will manage to sue the pants off the chuckleheads who allowed this to happen.
I would expect that DOE would be all over this. Where have they been?
-------------- "I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Strange Astro turf does not have the rubber granules when new that are added afterward to reduce injuries. Most places no longer use them because they are considered cancerous. Probably they were used used AstroTurf from a field somewhere to save money.
-------------- "You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
Probably they were used used AstroTurf from a field somewhere to save money.
The Seattle Times article includes a Facebook video of the turf, and the description states that the dam owner is using the old Kingdome Astroturf! You can see some of the 20 yard line marks Revenge of the Kingdome, 2020 can't surprise us anymore.
Pierce County is taking steps to remove the Electron Dam on the Puyallup River following a spew of crumb rubber and plastic debris into the river by the dam’s owners, Electron Hydro.
Citing “inexcusable environmental harm” and “irresponsible management” by dam owner Electron Hydro, Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier Monday issued a letter imposing a series of steps the owners must take to clean up the mess and secure the dam site for the winter.
Working with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Dammeier said his ultimate goal is to remove the 12-foot-tall wooden dam from the Puyallup River “as soon as possible.”
“The harm caused by this obsolete, 116-year-old dam in a river that supports threatened salmon runs far exceeds any possible benefit the owners might claim,” Dammeier said in the statement. “Electron Hydro deliberately placed artificial turf full of crumb rubber into the river, and that’s simply unacceptable. The damage to future salmon runs is impossible to measure.”
The dam is located in the upper Puyallup watershed and generates power for about 20,000 electricity customers. The dam is a known fish killer on a river that is home to spring chinook, and other fish protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Puget Sound Energy also recently alerted Electron Hydro it would cancel its power-purchase contract with Election Hydro if it does not bring the dam into regulatory compliance.
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