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MOSES LAKE - A Moses Lake construction company has been fined by the state Department of Ecology for reported air pollution violations.

Granite Construction has been filed $36,000 by Ecology for air pollution released from their asphalt plant near Moses Lake.

“Granite Construction is required to control air emissions from the facility, including using covers over the conveyor belts that transport product within the plant,” Ecology officials stated. “Ecology inspectors found the company operated the asphalt plant for eight days in September without the covers installed, resulting in excessive volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from the gravel pit.”

Ecology says operating the plant without the pollution controls increases the amount of dust and VOCs released into the air, both of which are harmful.

“Exposure to elevated levels of air pollution can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system, and some air pollutants are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans and animals,” Ecology officials added.

Granite Construction is also alleged to have had an exhaust point closer to the ground than allowed, reducing the ability of the pollution to disperse higher in the air.

“Businesses that produce air pollution have an obligation to protect their workers and the public,” stated Dave Knight, manager of Ecology’s Eastern Region air quality program. “We’re working with Granite Construction to make sure they follow the law and minimize pollution from their operations”

This is the second time Ecology inspectors found excessive air emissions from the asphalt plant. In June 2020, Granite Construction operated within the gravel pit without the required pollution control equipment working. The company was issued a notice of correction in August 2020.

Granite Construction corrected the issue after being contacted by Ecology in June 2020 and September 2021.

Granite Construction has 30 days to appeal the fine.