Washington Farm Pays Fee for Dumping

The owners of a Grandview, Washington farm recently agreed to pay $90,000 to the state Department of Ecology in order to settle charges of illegal dumping.

The settlement was reached between the Washington State Department of Ecology and the owners of Double H Farms (George and Edith Higgens and James and Linda Hansen) of Grandview, Washington. While the owners of the farm still insist that they did not break the law, the settlement and the evidence collected certainly implies a high level of culpability.

In 2009, officials at the Department of Ecology found hundreds of used oil and pesticide containers buried in shallow pits in a corner of the farm. Further excavations found other items buried in the pits, including car batteries.

According to the communications director for the Department of Ecology, “Hundreds of pesticide and oil containers, some crushed, some with liquid still inside, were found in one corner of the property. It wasn’t being farmed and appears to have been set aside for waste.”

The initial fines leveled against the farm for improper disposal were $125,000, but the settlement reduced this number to $90,000. In addition, DoE officials will inspect four other properties owned by the farm and will not file criminal charges if additional illegal dumps are found (the farm will, however, be liable for cleanup costs).

The DoE has installed monitoring wells at the site to track contamination and make sure it is not being spread from the site. So far, the pollution appears to be contained.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer