The fines keep adding up for Refresco

By on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News Columbia Basin Top Stories

WALLA WALLA – The Refresco Beverages Group bottling plant continues to collect fines based on findings of wastewater discharge violations. The most recent violation, which was issued Sept. 1, was for the month of July 2021 and was for exceeding PCB limits and pH violations, Leah Rohan, environmental engineer for Walla Walla Public Works wrote in an email.

The fine was for $51,310.49 which includes a reimbursement for the city’s time spent on the compliance issues for July 2021, $1,000 a day for the PCB limit violations, $500 a day fine for Refresco missing its compliance deadline, and other fines for exceeding individual limits specific to the company’s sampling during the month of July.

“At least monthly, fines will be assessed based on their discharge monitoring report they are required to submit by the 15th of every month,” Rohan added.

In August, Walla Walla Public Works reported Refresco has been cited 18 times in 2019 for being out of compliance with its wastewater discharge; 16 times in 2020, and six times so far this year. These violations have resulted in more than $439,107. The city claims Refresco has been slow in taking action to address the issues and has set a compliance date of June 30, 2022. If Refresco fails to meet this deadline, its permit will be revoke, effectively prohibiting the company’s discharge and ceasing operations.