Landgesellschaft says WA broke state law with a fine of $ 304,000

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A rural company in southeast Washington fined $ 304,000 for water usage and said the Washington State Department of Ecology acted illegally.

The Department of Ecology fined Frank Tiegs LLC in Pasco for allegedly irrigating land from the McNary Pool of the Snake River without prior authorization that year.

The company’s appeal states it has enough untapped water rights to cover the water it uses, The Tri-City Herald reported.

The appeal also states that the Department of Ecology has retrospectively approved water use by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources on neighboring farmland so that paperwork can be dealt with retrospectively.

“There was and is no significant difference between the two water rights,” says the appeal that was filed with the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board.

Water was available in both cases, the appeal said, but Frank Tiegs LLC was also not allowed to complete the paperwork after irrigation began on the 250 acres in question, the appeal said.

Frank Tiegs told the Tri-City Herald he believed the water use was legal or had not started watering the property.

The appeal notes that Frank Tiegs LLC has had no previous eco-fines “despite large operations and complex portfolios of water rights.”

The appeal also argues that the Department of Ecology failed to first attempt to ensure voluntary compliance through written information and technical assistance, as required by state law.

The Department of Ecology said in a press release Oct. 20 that the company’s illicit water use “endangered the rivers in the Columbia and Snake Rivers – critical rivers for salmon and steelheads. For Washington, this was one of the driest and warmest on record, as streams and fish passages were already at risk. “

Other water rights or public resources such as water for fish or wildlife were not directly damaged, the appeal said.

The Department of Ecology declined to comment on the appeal.


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