Washington AG Announced Guilty Plea by Hydroelectric Dam Owner Who Polluted River

On February 27, 2023 Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that Electron Hydro, LLC, a company that owns and operates a hydroelectric dam, and its Chief Operating Officer pleaded guilty to illegally operating the project. In 2020, workers at hydroelectric dam used materials containing toxic chemicals to divert the Puyallup River, without a permit to do so, ultimately causing the toxic material to discharge into the river for two weeks. Despite a stop work order from the county and the Army Corps of Engineers, the river remained diverted for several months. AG Ferguson has recommended that the owner of the project be sentenced to $1 million in fines and restitution payments to restore the river, and a 2-year probation period.

On May 8, 2023, AG Ferguson announced that a Pierce County Superior Court judge ordered the company and its Chief Operating Officer to pay a total of $1 million in fines and restitution, including $745,000 to the Puyallup Tribal Fisheries to help restore the damage the company did.