The Home Depot penalized $1.6 million for selling restricted hydrofluorocarbon products

(OLYMPIA)– The Washington Department of Ecology issued a $1.6 million penalty to The Home Depot for selling prohibited hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) products, after roughly two years of attempts to bring the company into compliance. HFCs are powerful greenhouse gases used mainly for refrigeration and air conditioning, and they can leak into the atmosphere if equipment is faulty or damaged. When that happens, HFCs have hundreds to thousands of times the global warming impact of carbon dioxide, according to a news release from Ecology. The Washington Legislature passed laws in 2019 and 2021 gradually phasing out the use of HFCs, and Ecology has been working     (read more)

Weapon offense investigation in Mount Vernon

(MOUNT VERNON)- Mount Vernon police responded to a report of a weapon offense in the 2500 block of Cindy Place at around 9:44 a.m. Wednesday morning. It was reported that a male subject had pointed a gun and threatened a resident, according to a news release from the Mount Vernon Police Department. Responding officers located the suspect who then attempted to flee from the officers resulting in a foot pursuit. During the foot pursuit, the suspect dropped a realistic looking pistol. The pistol was later found to be a CO2 pistol marketed for self-defense. Officers were able to catch up     (read more)

Skagit County to remove courthouse fourth floor

(SKAGIT COUNTY)- Skagit County will begin demolition work on July 8th to remove the fourth floor of the Courthouse building on W. Kincaid Street in Mount Vernon. The courthouse will reach 100 years of service this year, and the fourth floor houses a jail that was used for the first 59 years. The fourth floor is significantly heavier than the lower floors due to the reinforced concrete walls and jail structure. The County conducted a structural assessment of the courthouse building in 2019 that identified significant seismic deficiencies and recommended removing the fourth floor to improve the structural resiliency, according to a     (read more)

Washington State Archives awards over $537,000 through Local Records Grant Program

(OLYMPIA)— The Washington State Archives announced this week that $537,759 will be distributed among 27 local government agencies through the Local Records Grant Program. The Local Records Grant Program of the Washington State Archives, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, helps local government agencies upgrade technological resources for records management and better respond to requests for public records. Since its inception in 2005, the program has awarded more than $4.5 million to hundreds of government entities, including cities, towns, and counties; fire, school, hospital, port, and public-utility districts; transit authorities; and more, according to a news release from the Office     (read more)

Diesel spill from sunken fishing boat in 2022 off San Juan Island leads to penalty

(SEATTLE)– In August 2022, a 58-foot fishing boat sank off the western shore of San Juan Island, kicking off a complex, lengthy response to prevent additional diesel from spilling out of the sunken vessel, and to eventually raise the boat back to the surface. Now, the Washington Department of Ecology is penalizing Matthew Johnston, the boat’s owner, $18,000 for the spilled diesel, according to a news release from Ecology. The incident began in the afternoon of Aug. 13, 2022, when Johnston noticed water rising from the aft scuppers on his boat, the Aleutian Isle. Water quickly began to cover the main deck, and     (read more)