The Port of Lewiston faces the possibility of being fined by the U.S. government for dumping nearly 600 cubic yards of fill material into the Clearwater River as part of the port's dock expansion.
This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the fill ended up in the river sometime in June, before the July 1-Sept. 30 window when construction projects along the Clearwater are "least harmful to protected salmon and steelhead species."
Port officials say the incident occurred in connection with a project which is extending the port's 125-foot-long container dock by another 150 feet.
A notice of noncompliance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicates that the 600 cubic yards "represented one-fourth of the material the port was given permission to discharge during the dock upgrade."
The notice indicates that fines could total $32,500.
Additionally, construction crews are facing more challenges with the project. The tribune reports that crews have encountered "hard driving conditions" with the dock's new piles, needing to place them 14 feet below the "mud line," nearly 3-feet shallower than the original plan.