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Trident Seafoods Corp. to Pay $2.5 Million for Clean Water Act Violations
The EPA and the Department of Justice announces Trident Seafoods Corp. will pay $2.5 million for allegedly dumping unauthorized seafood waste onto the seafloor.
One of the largest seafood processors in the nation will pay millions for more than 480 clean water act violations.
Today (9/28) the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced Trident Seafoods Corp. will pay $2.5 million for allegedly dumping unauthorized seafood waste onto the sea floor. One of those piles, or dead zones, includes a waste pile in Akutan Harbor that's estimated to be at least 50 acres in size. An EPA permit allows only one acre of sea floor for processing waste.
The EPA says Trident has offered to pay at least $30 million to upgrade processing plants and build a fishmeal plant in Naknek, Alaska. Officials say it's an area where Trident Seafoods dumped up to 8 million pounds of seafood processing waste on any given year on the sea floor.
The company says it will also cut back on the amount of waste it discharges at the facilities in Akutan, Cordova, St. Paul, and Ketchikan.
An EPA spokesperson says they see a different Trident coming to the table this time.
"It's the nature of the work they are committing," says Edward Kowalski, EPA Director of the Compliance Office in Seattle, WA. "It's building fish meal plants that not only can receive their processing waste it can also have capacity to accept waste of other seafood processors in the area."
The Clean Water Act violations include discharging without a necessary permit, failing to comply with permit restrictions on discharge locations (including at least two National Wildlife Refuges) and creating oxygen-depleting zones that fish or other living organisms are unable to live in.
"Despite the fact that we are talking about significant violations and large number of violations historically and I don't want to downplay," Kowalski said. "But the company did come to the table willing to work with us."
A 30 day comment period on the settlement begins today. The EPA says it will be at least a month until the settlement is finalized.