Dec 28, 2017

EPA Reaches Settlement with StarKist Co. Over Clean Water Act Violations

The canned tuna company faces consequences for storm water discharges and plans to reduce pollutants by 85%

Tuna company faces consequences for storm water discharges in American Samoa

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have reached a revised $6.5 million settlement with StarKist Co. and its subsidiary, Starkist Samoa Co., to resolve federal environmental violations at their tuna processing facility in American Samoa.

In addition to the $6.3 million penalty announced in September, Starkist will pay $200,000 to address alleged Clean Water Act (CWA) violations found before the original consent decree was finalized by the court. The American Samoa government has also been added as a co-plaintiff in the revised action, formalizing its role as a partner in the implementation of the settlement. Under the agreement, Starkist will pay $2.6 million to American Samoa and $3.9 million to the United States. As specified in the original consent decree, the company will also provide $88,000 in emergency equipment to American Samoa for responses to chemical releases.

The additional violations included unauthorized storm water discharges to Pago Pago Harbor from Starkist’s storm water system. The revised consent decree requires Starkist to obtain authorization for its storm water discharges and take steps to reduce and eliminate discharges to the harbor.

After full implementation of the wastewater treatment system upgrades, the facility’s annual discharge of pollutants into Pago Pago Harbor, including total nitrogen, phosphorus, oil and grease, and total suspended solids, will be reduced by at least 85% – more than 13 million lb.