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Trident to pay hefty fine for clean water violations in Alaska

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Trident Seafoods Corp., one of the world’s largest seafood processors, will pay a $2.5 million civil penalty and invest more than $30 million to upgrade seafood processing waste controls to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The settlement with the EPA and the Justice Department will reduce discharges of seafood processing waste by more than 100 million pounds each year, they said in a joint announcement. The settlement was filed September 28 in federal court in Seattle and is subject to a 30-day public comment period.

The EPA complaint alleged that unauthorized discharges by the Seattle-based Trident of seafood processing waste lead to “large seafood waste piles on the seafloor, creating anoxic, or oxygen-depleted, conditions that result in unsuitable habitats for fish and other living organisms.”

The settlement “signals an important change in how seafood processing is managed in Alaska,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Trident’s investment in fishmeal facilities and commitment to improving its waste management practices will help protect our nation’s waters and set the standard for Alaska’s seafood processing industry.”

The agreement requires Trident to invest an estimated $30-40 million, and potentially more, in source control and waste pile remediation measures. The source control measures include building a fishmeal plant in Naknek, Alaska, that will have the capacity to handle at least 30 million pounds of seafood processing waste annually, taking in both its own fish waste and potentially that of other local processors. Trident has also agreed to reduce the amount of seafood processing waste discharged from the Akutan, Cordova, St. Paul and Ketchikan, Alaska, facilities and monitor the amount of seafood processing waste discharged into Starrigavan Bay in Sitka, Alaska. The actions taken will reduce Trident’s fish processing discharges by a total of more than 105 million pounds annually.

The company also agreed to remediation measures including studying seafloor waste piles at Trident’s facilities in Akutan, Ketchikan and Cordova. Based on the results of these studies, Trident will remove or partially remediate the piles. One seafood processing waste pile in Akutan Harbor is currently estimated to be more than 50 acres in size.

The EPA complaint, also filed as part of the legal action, alleged that Trident had more than 480 CWA violations at 14 of its on-shore and off-shore Alaskan seafood processing facilities. The alleged violations include discharging without a necessary permit, exceeding discharge limits, failing to comply with permit restrictions on discharge locations (including discharges into at least two National Wildlife Refuges), creating oxygen-depleting “zones of deposit” or underwater piles of fish processing waste occupying more than the allowed one acre of seafloor. The company also allegedly failed to conduct required monitoring and implement required best management practices, the agency said.

Over the past decade, Trident has been a party to multiple administrative enforcement agreements and judicial consent decrees resolving similar violations at many of the same facilities.

The EPA site has more information on the settlement and a copy of the consent decree.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

4 October, 2011 at 2:00 am

One Response

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  1. You are so awesome! I never read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this post. I really love you for starting this up. This website is something, that is needed on the web. Useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

    Freshwater Fish

    30 October, 2011 at 6:48 pm


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