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January 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 45, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Dumping Lead Down the Toilet Gets a $197,000 Fine

from the January, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

We divers like to think of our fellow divers and dive businesses as environmentally sensitive -- we're in that business, aren't we? -- but then, along come scofflaws like Seasoft Scuba Gear in Lacey, WA, which has been dumping hazardous waste down a toilet, which flowed into a storm drain and then onto the ground.

You see, they manufacture dive weights from corroded lead shot collected at shooting ranges, and after the weights are manufactured, their toxic lead and arsenic are a useless byproduct. Rather than spend the money to properly dispose of it, Seasoft just dumped it, allowing it to eventually seep into the once-pristine waters of Puget Sound, as well as into aquifers.

Thankfully, the state's Department of Ecology had an eye on them and has fined them a whopping $197,000 (good for them). Washington's Department of Health is now working with Seasoft employees to determine how much of this poisonous lead and arsenic they were exposed to.

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