Wapato High contractors investigated for illegal dumping

Wapato High contractors investigated for illegal dumping
WAPATO, Wash. -- Action News has exclusively uncovered a potentially alarming situation in Wapato.

County officials said demolition material from the Wapato High School was illegally dumped on a private property. It may contain materials like asbestos and lead.

KIMA learned sub-contractors on the job dumped it on a private property along the 3900 block of Ashue Road.

Prosecutors say the Wapato school district isn't to blame. They say the district's contract indicates it expected workers to properly get rid of demolition material.

County officials said that didn't happen.

The county says Groate Construction is one of the sub-contractors they're investigating. We spoke with a Groate employee who says they did dump truck loads of material on the Wapato property.

The county said Mid Valley construction is also being investigated. KIMA wasn't able to reach them for comment.

The property owners are also being investigated. Nobody answered when Action News knocked on their door. Officials said it appears they were allowing the dumping.

That is concerning to Patrick Truex who lives nearby.

"Asbestos is known to cause cancer so, you know, nobody wants to be associated with it. Nobody wants it in their neighborhood,” Patrick said. “You know, it's just not a good thing."

The county said the homeowners face a series of charges, including building and code violations. They might also pay fines for land use violations and environmental hazards.

For now, Patrick said he'll wait to see who is responsible.

"Well it's very dis-concerting. If they are actually dumping asbestos, the contractor probably should have known what he was doing and knew that was illegal,” Patrick said.