Nautilus Foods, a Valdez-based salmon processor, has settled an EPA-issued complaint for violations of the federal Clean Water Act. These violations included:
* violation of Alaska state water quality standards,
* failure to properly treat seafood processing waste,
* failure to monitor as required by Nautilus's discharge permit,
* failure to submit required reports, and
* failure to maintain seafood waste conveyance systems.
After extended negotiations with the company, Nautilus agreed to pay a penalty of $15,000. EPA agreed to a substantially reduced penalty because Nautilus submitted information indicating the company was unable to pay a higher amount. The agreement was reached just prior to trial.
"Seafood processing is a critical element of Alaska's economy," said Mike Bussell, Director of the EPA's Enforcement and Compliance office in Seattle. "But it shouldn't be done at the expense of the environment that the seafood industry depends upon. Strong enforcement actions help level the playing field by forcing non-compliant operators to invest in treatment technologies and practices that their competitors have adopted in order to obey the law and protect their environment.
"It's our hope that the owner of this facility better understands his obligations to the environment and others in the industry," Bussell said.