Trucking companies’ illegal dumping destroys nearly 20 acres of sensitive wetland

Some of the acreage has since been awarded to local Native American tribes for restoration and “perpetual conservation.”

Two companies have been fined and tasked with the restoration of nearly 20 acres of wetland damaged by their years of illegal dumping. 

Back in 2008, Bobby Wolford Trucking & Salvage, Inc. began delivering fill material and construction debris to Karl Frederick Klock Pacific Bison, LCC three miles east of Monroe, Washington. 

For the next three years,  Bobby Wolford Trucking & Salvage, Inc. proceeded to dump enough fill material and construction debris into the property’s wetlands to fill 16 Olympic swimming pools, along with an immeasurable amount of debris into the  Skykomish River and various other streams running through the property. 

Bobby Wolford Trucking & Salvage, Inc. also took further advantage of its access to the Klock property by charging other companies to dump their waste materials in the same locations – all without obtaining any sort of permits, reports Herald Net News.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the illegal dumping directly impacted three acres of wetlands and more than 2,000 feet of streams. These changes have altered the “structure and function” of the floodplain, and as a result, 17 acres of wetland are in need of salvaging. 

“This affected the very structure and function of the Skykomish River floodplain and one of its tributaries,” said Chris Hladick, EPA regional administrator. 

Since the discovery of the illegal dumping, the U.S. Department of Justice and the EPA have reached a settlement with Bobby Wolford Trucking & Salvage, Inc. – The trucking company must pay $300,000 in civil penalties and will be required to perform extensive restoration work to the damaged land. This restoration work will include the removal of 40,000 cubic yards of fill and debris from the oxbow of the Skykomish River and nearby wetlands. The trucking company will also be required to pay for the replanting of native vegetation destroyed by the dumping.

Because this land is home to multiple threatened species of fish, including  Steelhead, Chum, Coho, Pink and Chinook salmon as well as Bull Trout, its restoration is crucial to the health of the land, so the nearby Tulalip Tribes will be overseeing the restoration work, as well as replanting 17 acres of the damaged property. 

The settlement has also facilitated the transfer of 188 acres of the Karl Frederick Klock Pacific Bison, LLC property to the Tulalip tribes, who will maintain the land in “perpetual conservation.”

“It’s gratifying that the case has been resolved in a way that provides such benefit to the environment,” Hladick said.