Land company says WA violated state law with $304,000 fine

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — A southeast Washington land company is appealing a $304,000 fine over water use, saying the Washington state Department of Ecology acted unlawfully. The Tri-City Herald reports the Department of Ecology fined Frank Tiegs LLC in Pasco for allegedly irrigating land from the Snake River’s McNary Pool this year without previous authorization. The company’s appeal says it had sufficient unused water rights to cover the water it used. The appeal also says the Department of Ecology retroactively approved water use by the Washington state Department of Natural Resources on neighboring farm land. Washington’s Department of Ecology declined to comment on the appeal.