The state Department of Ecology recently issued penalties for bacterial pollution released at March Point and for sediment that killed fish in the upper Samish River watershed in mid to late 2016.

The Tesoro Anacortes Refinery at March Point was fined $5,000 for the release of excess fecal coliform bacteria in December.

An individual who lives on Shaw Road in north Skagit County is being fined $4,000 for sending sediment into Barrel Springs Creek in August.

The two Skagit County cases are among fines issued by Ecology from January through March this year. The fines range from $1,000 to $64,000.

“When someone pollutes Washington’s land, air or waters, Ecology enforces state and federal regulations in hopes of changing behavior and deterring future violations,” an Ecology news release states.

According to Ecology documents, Shaw Road resident Dennis Spore allowed sediment from a pond on his property to flow into Barrel Springs Creek, which drains into Bear Creek and then Friday Creek, which is a major tributary to the Samish River.

The material clouded the stream for about three-quarters of a mile and killed cutthroat trout, Ecology spokesman Larry Altose said.

At Tesoro, an issue with the refinery wastewater treatment facility caused the release of fecal coliform bacteria between two and 37 times the state limit several times during December, according to Ecology documents.

Altose said the refinery fixed the problem and has not exceeded state limits for fecal coliform pollution since December.

— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199,

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