Weyerhaeuser plant accused of water violations
October 19, 2023
An environmental group has accused Weyerhaeuser of violating the Clean Water Act by discharging wastewater and stormwater containing pollutants from its Raymond lumber mill.
The Twin Harbors Riverkeeper nonprofit has filed a federal complaint alleging the facility has violated its wastewater permits by failing to comply with federal effluent standards and reporting requirements.
The lawsuit claims that Weyerhaeuser’s lumber mill regularly releases more wastewater than permitted as well as water that’s contaminated with oil and grease, that’s too warm, or that’s excessively acidic or alkaline.
A representative of Weyerhaeuser did not respond to requests for comment.
Contrary to permit conditions, Weyerhaeuser didn’t sufficiently monitor its wastewater for pollutants or report the results to Washington environmental regulators who enforce the Clean Water Act, according to the complaint.
The company has failed to stop unauthorized discharges, correct violations and develop plans to prevent pollution in wastewater that flows from the facility to a regional treatment plant, the complaint said.
The lawsuit separately claims that Weyerhaeuser hasn’t lived up to permit requirements for stormwater running off the property, which has allegedly carried pollutants the nearby Willapa River.
Stormwater from the site has repeatedly exceeded benchmarks for copper, suspended solids, turbidity and dissolved oxygen, indicating that Weyerhaeuser isn’t properly controlling for pollutants, the complaint said.
The company hasn’t developed or implemented plans to prevent contaminated runoff from leaving the mill property and has violated monitoring, reporting and corrective action requirements for pollutants, according to the lawsuit.
Twin Harbors Riverkeeper, the plaintiff, has asked for an injunction ordering the company to stop discharging pollutants in violation of its wastewater permits and to remediate the environmental damage from past contamination.
The lawsuit also seeks an order requiring Weyerhaeuser to pay civil penalties.