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Ag Monthly | Cashmere company faces lawsuit over stormwater

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Cashmere company faces lawsuit over stormwater

CASHMERE — A Washington environmental organization is suing Cashmere-based apple snack company, Crunch Pak, over alleged violations to its state stormwater permit.

Crunch Pak’s attorney J. Patrick Aylward received the complaint from Columbia Riverkeeper on Jan. 9.

Aylward and Crunch Pak’s representatives could not be reached to comment.

Columbia Riverkeeper asked the judge to fine Crunch Pak $37,500 for every day the company was in violation, as well as an additional $53,484 per day.

Between 2013 to 2018 Crunch Pak had 42 benchmark exceedances, where there was too much of some kind of material, such as copper, in storm-water runoff, Ecology Spokesman Colleen Kentz said. Benchmark exceedances are not necessarily violations unless a company does not take corrective action.

Crunch Pak also had four violations for failing to submit reports on time and five violations for submitting discharge monitoring reports late between 2013 and 2018, Kentz said.


Orchard company seeks access to state land

WENATCHEE — After years of debate and controversy, the Wheeler Ridge Company is still seeking access to land that a state agency purchased to prevent it from being developed.

The Wheeler Ridge Company, which is owned by Kyle Mathison, according to Chelan County documents, has been trying for several years to expand its property holdings in the basin.

The Wenatchee Sportsmen Association opposes any new cherry orchards in the Stemilt Basin, said Jerry Gutzwiler, a sportsmen association board member and member of the Stemilt Partnership. Orchards create additional noise, lighting and other disturbances for wildlife in the area. They can also block wildlife corridors and wildlife movement by creating fencing.


Stemilt donates gifts to 130 foster kids

WENATCHEE — Stemilt Growers employees donated gifts to 130 foster children during December. It’s the company’s sixth year of giving back to the foster care community.

The children are in the care of the state Department of Children, Youth and Families in Wenatchee or the Community Resource Group of Wenatchee/ Yakima.

Donations are organized by Stemilt’s Community Investment Committee every year, according to a press release.


Fruit companies donate apples to students

EAST WENATCHEE — Northern Fruit Co. and Columbia Marketing Inc. are donating apples for Eastmont School District students.

The apples are handed out through the GEAR UP program to eighth- and ninth-graders before and after school and between classes.

Northern Fruit has agreed to donate three boxes a week throughout the school year, for a total donation value of $1,680. CMI is donating five boxes a week, for a total donation of $2,100.

The Eastmont School Board officially accepted the donations, as required by district policy, at its Dec. 10 meeting.