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Friday, May 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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City of Vancouver fined $60K for 2017 sewage spills

UPDATED: Sat., Jan. 5, 2019

Ships move through the Columbia River looking south from near Longview, Wash., on May 12, 2005. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
Ships move through the Columbia River looking south from near Longview, Wash., on May 12, 2005. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
Associated Press

VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Washington Department of Ecology has fined the city of Vancouver $60,000 for spilling nearly 600,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Columbia River.

The Columbian reported the fine comes after a 15-month investigation into spills in September and October 2017.

The Sept. 30 spill released nearly an Olympic-sized pool worth of sewage from the Westside wastewater treatment facility. City staff characterized the spill as a rare occurrence.

The second release 25 days later let another 80,000 gallons into the river.

Heather Bartlett with Ecology said unacceptable training, maintenance and operations led to the preventable discharges.

After the fine was announced Friday, the city sent out a news release saying it recently concluded a series of improvements to the plant which includes a new $2.2 million emergency pumping system.

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