Dam operator fined $501K for polluting Puyallup River

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington Department of Ecology has fined dam operator Electron Hydro, LLC, $501,000 for discharging discarded plastic field turf into the Puyallup River. The Seattle Times reports pieces of the artificial turf were found miles downstream last summer. The Department of Ecology said deposits of ground-up tire rubber are believed to have entered into Commencement Bay in Tacoma. The turf and its crumb rubber material are toxic when ingested by fish and other aquatic life. The Puyallup is home to protected endangered species including steelhead, bull trout and Chinook, a critical food source for endangered southern resident orcas. A company spokesman said the company will appeal the fine.