Kingston compost facility files for permit

A month after Kitsap Daily News started an investigation of a compost facility in Kingston Olympic Organics received a violation notice from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

PSCAA inspector Walter Voegtlin issued the citation Aug. 24, 2023, records show in response to a Public Records Request.

Olympic Organics was given 10 days to submit a written report describing the actions taken to correct the violation and comply with agency regulations. The reason for the violation was compostable waste material was not located in a tipping building, but rather in an outside pile. The wood grinder next to the grinder did not have water sprays installed.

To fix the problem, Olympic Organics was asked to install and operate a fine-water mist system on any wood grinder to control dust. It also was required to deposit all compostable waste material inside a tipping building until processed.

The facility is located at 7890 Ecology Road NE. Olympic Organics is owned by DTG Enterprises in Mill Creek.

In response to the violation, Janusz Bajsarowicz of DTG says in an email that, “We purchased the Olympic Organics operation in 2022 and have been operating the facility in good faith, with an understanding that all activities onsite are being performed in compliance with the regulatory permits and continued agency discussions.

“We were informed by the previous owner that removal of the tipping building was agreed upon by the agencies, and the current method of processing yard waste immediately upon delivery to the site and adding to the active composting bays was an acceptable alternative to a tipping building.”

Regarding the grinder, Bajsarowicz goes on to say that, “DTG was not operating the wood grinder on the day of your inspection, and we utilize the water spray bar attached to the the grinder when it is operational.

“We just upgraded the previous Olympic Organics grinder with a new wood grinder equipped with a dust suppression system. The system is always active when the grinder is operating unless weather conditions negate the needs for dust suppression.”

Not long after that Bajsarowicz wrote that DTG is working with the Kitsap County Planning Department to determine permitting requirements to reinstall a tipping building. The Public Records Request information did not explain why OO changed its mind regarding the tipping building. No information was released on what PSCAA did to emphasize the need for the building, other than what the violation says.

Kitsap Daily News started the investigation in July of last year when it found out a tipping building required when the facility opened in 2008 was taken out about 10 years ago without approval. OO also lacked biofilters and did not get an OK for an expansion when it added five outside bays in December of 2022.

John Kiess, environmental health director with the Kitsap Public Health District, says in an email that state law would not apply to changes in a tipping building or bays as those modifications are not tied to regulatory design criteria or operating standards that KPHD implements through the facility’s composting permit. However, WAC 173-350-710 says moving a building does require a permit, as does building a retaining wall over 4 feet tall, such as in outside bays.

Information released due to the records request did not include any updates on the biofilters or outside bays. No proof was ever shown that removal of the tipping building was ever agreed upon by regulating agencies.