Department of Ecology fines King County for trail work violation

December 18, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

State regulators fined King County $1,500 after workers failed to follow rules to stop sediment discharges into a municipal storm drain during construction on the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

The state Department of Ecology said crews from the county Facilities Management Division repeatedly did not install the proper controls outlined under the storm water permit to prevent sediment discharges.

The agency issued the fine July 20, but did not announce the penalty until Nov. 27, as the Department of Ecology detailed all fines issued statewide between July and September. Officials typically do not issue individual media releases unless a penalty reaches $10,000 or more.

The agency works alongside local governments, businesses and residents on compliance issues. Violators receive penalties in instances after the Department of Ecology provides technical assistance or warnings, or for particularly serious violations.

Construction continues on the East Lake Sammamish Trail through Issaquah.

The regional trail closed through Issaquah in May for up to a year as crews remove the existing gravel surface and construct a 12-foot asphalt trail. The closure affects a 2.2-mile stretch from Northwest Gilman Boulevard to Southeast 43rd Way.

Officials said extensive work in the narrow corridor required a complete closure.

The path unfurls along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad corridor. The completed East Lake Sammamish Trail is meant to stretch 44 miles from Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood to Issaquah.

The estimated cost to complete the segment is $2.74 million. The county used funding from the King County Open Space and Trails Levy, federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program, and the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.

Plans also call for crews to add gravel shoulders, concrete sidewalk connections, retaining walls, fencing and signage, plus wetland planting and landscaping.

The upgrade is meant to make the trail accessible to a wider range of users, including bicyclists using narrow tires and people wearing inline skates.

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