Northwest NEWS

June 10, 2002

Front Page

WSDOT accepts responsibility for spill into drainage system

BOTHELL - A Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) field crew allowed up to several hundred gallons of slurry (a mixture of mud, water, and ground concrete) to escape into Bothell's drainage system, a violation of department policy. Because some members of the crew wilfully violated department policy and the extensive training they received on proper sedimentation and erosion control techniques, the department is pursuing disciplinary action against the crew.
   On Tuesday morning, May 7, a City of Bothell environmental inspector noticed the slurry streaming from a WSDOT drilling and boring project along State Route 522. The Bothell inspector obtained a stop work order and the project was halted while WSDOT cleanup efforts commenced. The Department of Transportation estimates that 300-400 gallons of untreated slurry escaped into the city's drainage system. The project was halted until the cleanup effort was complete.
   "We're very sorry this happened, and we are making every effort to clean up the remainder of the slurry as quickly as possible," said John Conrad, WSDOT Assistant Secretary of Engineering and Regional Operations. "We recognize the strong partnership that we must have with all local jurisdictions, and we want to apologize to the City of Bothell and its residents for this incident."
   WSDOT worked with the State Deartment of of Ecology on cleanup effort. Conrad acknowledged that the Department of Ecology would likely levy a fine, and said WSDOT would pay it.