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Spokane Files Appeal Against findings, Fine in WTE Plant Investigation

Spokane has filed an appeal against its $60,000 fine, stating that “the findings weren’t relative of the actual event that transpired.”

Last year, Spokane’s waste-to-energy (WTE) plant caused a stir after a mound of trash piled four stories high filled one of the plant’s bays. And shortly following that incident, two workers at the plant were injured after they were burned while cleaning out a boiler.

In an effort to improve safety and operations, the Spokane City Council approved the plant’s proposed safety upgrades in April. But shortly after that approval was granted, the Washington Department of Labor & Industries cited Spokane for 10 “serious” violations of Washington administrative codes, presenting the plant with a $60,000 fine for alleged training and safety failures that led to the two employees’ injuries.

Now, Spokane has filed an appeal against the fine, stating that “the findings weren’t relative of the actual event that transpired.” The Department of Labor & Industries is expected to review the additional information provided by Spokane and prepare an amended list of charges, if deemed appropriate, by the end of June.

The Spokesman-Review has more:

Spokane has appealed a $60,000 fine for alleged training and safety failures that led to two employees being burned at the Waste-to-Energy Plant last fall.

“We really felt strongly that the findings weren’t reflective of the actual event that transpired,” Public Works Director Scott Simmons told City Council members Monday.

Last month, the Washington Department of Labor & Industries cited Spokane for 10 “serious” violations of Washington administrative codes that were discovered after Larry Pratt and Craig Law received severe steam burns in an incident Oct. 4. Citations included failure to adequately outfit boiler workers performing a process called “declinkering” that involves removing waste products from the sides of a small, enclosed chamber, and for not holding regular training sessions on how to respond in the case of an emergency inside the boiler.

Read the full story here.

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