Ace Hardware fined for polluting Snoqualmie River

The state Department of Ecology fined Ace Hardware $28,000 on July 1 for spilling gasoline into the Snoqualmie River.

In January 2020, an Ace Hardware semi-truck was heading westbound on Interstate 90 from Yakima and crashed due to snow and icy conditions. The driver was going 64 mph, almost 20 mph over the posted speed limit, and was not using required tire chains.

The truck and trailer slid off the road and crashed, rupturing the fuel tank. About 120 gallons of fuel spilled into a ditch, stormwater drain and the south fork of the river. The company was fined $3,000 for polluting state waters and $25,000 for negligence.

According to the Department of Ecology, diesel gasoline is toxic and contains carcinogenic compounds. When spilled, it can persist in the environment and coat wildlife, impairing fish, birds and other creatures quickly.

Ace has 30 days to appeal the penalty to the Pollution Control Hearings Board. As of July 28, Ace had not yet appealed the fine, said Ty Keltner, a spokesperson for the Department of Ecology. Ace had until July 30 to file an appeal.