Seattle metal recycler fined $98K for polluting Duwamish

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle metal recycling company has been fined $98,000 for discharging pollutants into the Duwamish River.

The Washington Department of Ecology said Wednesday it fined Seattle Iron and Metals Corp. for violations in 2017 and 2018.

Officials say the company, which recovers metal from cars, appliances and other machinery, discharged excessive levels of zinc, copper, lead and other pollutants into the water 43 times.

Officials say Seattle Iron paid Ecology $64,000 and $16,000 for penalties issued in 2017 and 2014. The company also agreed last month to make an estimated $1 million worth of pollution-control improvements to settle a federal lawsuit brought by the conservation group Puget Soundkeeper.

Seattle Iron said in a statement it takes environmental compliance seriously.

The Lower Duwamish Waterway is listed as a federal Superfund site due to sediment contamination from decades of heavy industrial use.