Alaskan seafood processor fined $135,000

Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2010

JUNEAU - Highland Light Seafoods, LLC, an Alaskan seafood processor with headquarters in Seattle, has agreed to pay a $135,000 penalty to settle federal Clean Water Act violations, according to an EPA order.

Based on an inspection in December 2008, EPA found that the Highland Light Seafoods' 160-foot catcher-processor vessel, Westward Wind, was not in compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit while operating in Alaskan waters, according to the EPA.

EPA said Highland Light Seafoods over the past five years failed to maintain records documenting visual monitoring of the effluent grind size and waste conveyance systems; failed in 2004 and 2005 to maintain records documenting visual monitoring of the shoreline and sea surface; violated its NPDES permit in 2005 when the Westward Wind discharged to Nazan Bay; discharged near the Pribilof Islands in 2006 without an authorized NPDES permit; discharged seafood waste on numerous occasions in quantities greater than the company specified in its application; and failed to update its application after it made significant changes in its operation.

The penalty amount was driven by the lack of demonstration that the crew of the Westward Wind was monitoring its operation for the last five years, NPDES Compliance Manager Kim Ogle said.

The NPDES permit program, a key part of the Clean Water Act, controls water pollution by regulating sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States.

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