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Enforcement

To keep air quality in our region among the cleanest in the country, we prefer to work with the businesses we regulate and inform the public of requirements to achieve compliance and prevent pollution. But when businesses and individuals are out of compliance, we can and do hold them accountable.

As a member of this community, your involvement can help us hold businesses and individuals accountable. Also please add a link to the complaint form. If you believe a business or individual is polluting the air in your community, please let us know by filing a complaint.

January 2017 Click the numbers to go to our archive of monthly activity reports.

These are the most common types of enforcement actions we take, and what you can do:

Notice of violation

If you receive this notice, it’s our official notice to you as a business or individual that we have evidence you committed or are continuing to commit a violation. Our violation notices include a description of the activities we are alleging were noncompliant, and the regulations we are alleging you violated. According to our regulation, we must serve you, the alleged violator, with written notice at least 30 days before we issue a penalty.

Contact us immediately to provide additional information or set up a meeting to discuss the alleged violation and possible resolutions.

Corrective action order

This might accompany your violation notice. This order imposes our legally binding requirements on you as the alleged violator. The intention of these requirements is to assist you in returning to compliance within a reasonable time. If you fail to comply with the corrective action order we may pursue additional enforcement actions.

Contact us immediately to provide additional information or set up a meeting to discuss the alleged violation and possible resolutions.

Imposition of penalty

We use penalties to encourage alleged violators to discontinue allegedly noncompliant activities and to deter future noncompliance. We calculate penalties in two parts:

  • Fine for alleged violations: Up to $19,000 per day for each alleged violation.
  • Economic benefit: Cost savings gained while avoiding or delaying compliance with regulations.

We also may seek restraining orders, injunctions, and other court orders in the event that these actions fail to result in correction of noncompliant activities. In addition to authorizing us to impose civil penalties, the state Clean Air Act also authorizes criminal prosecution and punishment for people convicted of knowing and willful violations.

For more information:

If you receive an Imposition of Penalty notice, you have three options:

  1. Pay the penalty within 30 calendar days of receipt. Unpaid penalty balances are forwarded to a collection agency.
  2. Request a reduction. We may be willing to reduce your fine if you are willing to take specific actions and assure that the violation does not occur again. Economic benefit portions of penalties may not be reduced.
  3. File an appeal with the Pollution Control Hearings Board of the State of Washington. You must file your appeal within 30 days from receiving the penalty notice. If the appeal is properly filed, the PCHB will set a formal hearing date. Hearings include witnesses, sworn testimony, exhibits, a court recorder and other typical legal procedures.