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Friday, January 17, 2020

United Natural Foods West faces suit over allegations of discharging pollutants at Washington State facility

Federal Court

By Marian Johns | Jan 9, 2020

Water257

TACOMA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) – A nonprofit organization concerned with the health of a Washington river alleges the operator of a natural foods distribution center in the state is violating its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permit.

The Columbia Riverkeeper filed a complaint Dec. 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma against United Natural Foods West Inc., alleging violation of the Clean Water Act.

According to the complaint, UNFI operates a distribution center in Ridgefield, Washington. The plaintiff alleges UNFI has violated the terms and conditions of its industrial stormwater general permit issued on Nov. 20, 2019, by discharging stormwater associated with industrial activity and other pollutants into tributaries of Gee Creek and Lake River. It also claims UNFI has violated the monitoring requirements under its permit requiring collection and testing of stormwater samples. 

The plaintiff seeks monetary relief of $53,484 per day, per violation, litigation costs and all other just relief. it is represented by Claire Tonry of Smith & Tonry PLLC in Seattle and Simone Anter in Hood River, Oregon. 

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma case number 3:19-CV-06234-RJB

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U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington Tacoma Division

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