FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBIA RIVERKEEPER & SANDVIK SETTLE CLEAN WATER ACT CASE
Kennewick, WA (April 17, 2017) — Today, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Washington entered an agreement settling a Clean Water Act case between Columbia Riverkeeper and Sandvik Special Metals, LLC.
Sandvik operates a facility near Kennewick, Washington, that makes seamless metal tubes for the aerospace and nuclear industries. This case began in 2015, after Sandvik reported that it discharged more ammonia and fluoride into the Columbia River than the company’s water pollution permit allowed. Under today’s agreement, Sandvik commits to update its water pollution control technology and fund several substantial projects to improve water quality in the Columbia River and its tributaries in Eastern Washington.
“Today’s agreement will have a real, tangible impact on clean water. It will result in less pollution entering the Columbia and fund important work to restore the river that we all enjoy and depend on,” said Miles Johnson, Clean Water Attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper.
In addition to updating the facility’s pollution control technology, Sandvik will pay $650,000 to three non-profit organizations in Washington: Futurewise, Friends of Toppenish Creek, and the Center for Environmental Law and Policy. The groups will use the funds for projects to protect and restore water quality in the Columbia and its tributaries in Eastern Washington.
Orjan Blom, President of Sandvik Special Metals, stated: “Sandvik is pleased that the State recently approved the company’s proposed upgrades to address self-reported permit exceedances and is happy that this settlement with Columbia Riverkeeper will provide funds for organizations working to improve water quality in the Columbia River.”
About the Clean Water Act
The objective of the Clean Water Act, enacted in 1972, “is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.” The Clean Water Act requires facilities that discharge wastewater into rivers or lakes to have permits limiting pollution. The Clean Water Act also empowers citizen groups, like Columbia Riverkeeper, to enforce those permits and protect our collective right to clean, safe rivers.
About Columbia Riverkeeper
Columbia Riverkeeper’s mission is to restore and protect the water quality of the Columbia River and all life connected to it, from the headwaters to the Pacific Ocean. Columbia Riverkeeper is a non-profit organization with over 12,000 members who live, work, and recreate throughout the Columbia River basin. The law firm of Kampmeier & Knutsen PLLC represented Columbia Riverkeeper in this case.
- Agreement between Columbia Riverkeeper and Sandvik Special Metals
- Water Quality Projects Funded By the Agreement
- Clean Water Act
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