Alaska Seafood Processor To Pay $126,000 To Settle Federal Water Permit Violations

Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska seafood processor, agreed to pay a $126,000 penalty to settle water discharge permit violations at two facilities in Cordova and Excursion Inlet, EPA announced on June 12.

EPA initiated its enforcement action following the discovery that the company's facilities had violated their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. A settlement for all violations was reached and EPA signed a consent agreement and final order (CAFO) with Ocean Beauty.

According to Kim Ogle, EPA's NPDES compliance unit manager, the action was taken following an inspection at each facility, where permit violations were observed and documented.

"Water discharge permits are vital to protecting Alaska's water quality," Ogle said. "When companies violate those permits it is important to take an appropriate enforcement action. We're pleased that we were able to reach a settlement with Ocean Beauty and expect permit compliance in the future."

According to documents associated with the inspections, violations documented at the facilities included:

Cordova facility: Discharge of seafood waste directly into Orca Inlet, due to a sump overflow, causing the waste to pile up under the dock; discharge of untreated sanitary waste from a leaking waste sump to Orca Inlet; and discharge of foam and bloody water into Orca Inlet causing foam and scum build-up on the water surface extending more than a mile from the outfall.

Excursion Inlet facility: Discharge of unground fish waste, consisting of fish carcasses, fish heads, viscera and wastewater, into Excursion Inlet causing deposition of foam, scum, sludge and solids on the adjoining shorelines; failure to conduct a daily inspection of the grinder system to confirm that grinders were properly operating and reducing seafood waste to one-half inch or less; and failure to repair an outfall, which was leaking into Excursion Inlet for at least 10 days, along with failure to report the event to EPA.

To learn more about the EPA's NPDES program, go to http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes.

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