EPA alleges various failures in pollution control, reports and records against Lynden facility  

  SEATTLE ­— Americold Logistics LLC in Lynden has agreed to pay a $41,500 penalty for discharging pollutants into Fishtrap Creek in violation of the federal Clean Water Act, reports the Region 10 headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  Enforcement action in the Pacific Northwest is listed in a June 23 press release.

  The agency’s regional office said a March 9 consent agreement and final order resolved the violation claims against Americold, which operates a food cold-storage warehouse on Second Street in Lynden.

  The company discharged pollutants to nearby Fishtrap Creek, which flows into the Nooksack River, and was found to be operating in violation of the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Industrial Stormwater General Permit, EPA said. Violations included failure to implement corrective action after benchmark exceedances, failure to document monthly inspections, failure to monitor, and inadequate stormwater pollution prevention plan, the federal agency said.

  The company agreed in an administrative compliance order on consent to develop and implement multiple engineering plans that will reduce pollutants from leaving the facility and entering Fishtrap Creek, EPA said. The company also agreed to pay the $41,500 penalty.

  Americold normally discharges stormwater into Fishtrap Creek, and EPA did an inspection of Americold in August 2017 for compliance with terms of its Industrial Stormwater General Permit, according to the consent agreement. Various records and reports of the company’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan were also reviewed. 

  Alleged violations against Americold are that it:

  • failed to have petroleum products within secondary containment, i.e., a berm or dike around the storage building. 

  • failed to submit accurate discharge monitoring reports, i.e., results of data sampling during reporting periods to the Washington State Department of Ecology.

  • failed to collect quarterly samples of stormwater discharge in the first quarter of 2015.

  • failed to submit Discharge Monitoring Reports to state Ecology in the fourth quarter of 2016 and first and second quarters of 2017.

  • failed to retain copies of any DMRs on site. 

  • failed to retain copies of laboratory reports of third quarter on site.

  • failed to implement corrective action after exceeding benchmark values for zinc and turbidity in stormwater in three quarters of 2016.

  • failed to sign and certify a pollution protection plan in 2013.

  • failed to identify potential sources of pollutants in the protection plan.

  • failed to identify parameters for analysis and holding times of pollutants, and to meet sample holding times.

  • failed to submit annual reports.

  • failed to retain records of monthly inspections.

  • failed to provide annual pollution prevention training.

  • failed to properly describe business hours or seasonal variations in business hours in the prevention plan.

  In the agreement, the company neither admits nor denies the specific factual allegations made.

  Americold agreed to pay the civil penalty within 30 days of the agreement’s effective date, which was March 9.

  The Lynden facility has more than 4.9 million cubic feet of refrigerated storage space, according to frozen-foods.com. It receives local berry packs extensively.