Port of Everett settles $2.5M lawsuit over sewage water violations

May 10, 2023, 1:26 PM | Updated: 3:47 pm


Workers try to divert water into drains as rain pours down. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

The Port of Everett agreed to settle a lawsuit about releasing water into the Puget Sound that exceeded pollution standards.

The settlement with the water quality watchdog Puget Soundkeeper Alliance (PSA) was for $2.5 million, which accused the Port of discharging water that tested beyond pollution benchmarks.

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In court documents obtained by the Everett Herald, PSA alleged that the water tested higher in pH, copper, zinc, and turbidity than set in the port’s state-issued permit over two dozen times between 2018 and early 2022.

The port, with federal and state help, has spent millions to clean and mitigate land it had purchased to further extend the working seaport or for redevelopment.

A resolution came after a “lengthy” mediation last week, port CEO Lisa Lefeber said during a port commission meeting Tuesday. The commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the settlement.

PSA did not have a comment saying it was an “active matter.”

All of the money in the agreement will come from the port’s budget, a spokesman said, and complying with the settlement could mean some other waterfront improvements will be delayed.

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About $2 million of the settlement will pay for stormwater improvements at the port’s seaport along Everett’s waterfront.

The agreement requires the port to begin immediately monitoring stormwater discharges. The port has to install biofiltration systems by the end of October 2024. It also is required to make permanent a pilot treatment system in the North Yard at the Hewitt Terminal.

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Port of Everett settles $2.5M lawsuit over sewage water violations