Scuba gear company fined $197K over dumped lead, arsenic

LACEY, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Department of Ecology has fined a scuba gear company $197,000 for illegally dumping hazardous waste containing lead and arsenic down the toilet, into a storm drain and onto the ground.

Ecology officials announced the fine Tuesday against Seasoft Scuba Gear Inc. in Lacey.

Officials say the company's handling of its waste created by a process that removed corrosion from lead shot reclaimed from shooting ranges risked the health of its employees and polluted the environment.

A July 2018 investigation by Ecology and Department of Labor & Industries found that lead dust was present on exposed surfaces inside and outside Seasoft Scuba's warehouse.

State officials are working with Seasoft employees to determine how much lead and arsenic they were exposed to.

Seasoft Scuba President Bruce Justinen said in a statement that the site with Ecology's help is being cleaned up.