SEATTLE — Pacific Seafood-Westport, LLC, has settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over federal Clean Water Act violations at its Westport crab and shrimp processing facility, EPA said on June 22.
Pacific Seafood-Westport is part of a major global seafood processing operation that employs more than 3,000 people at 41 facilities in 11 states, including several offshore locations. The firm owns Coast Seafoods Company in South Bend and operates a large processing facility in Warrenton.
According to settlement documents, EPA identified over 2,100 violations of the Westport facility’s wastewater discharge permit during an unannounced inspection in 2017. EPA documented discharge limit violations, as well as violations related to monitoring frequency, incorrect sampling, and incomplete or inadequate reporting.
“Seafood processors have wastewater discharge permit limits for a reason,” said Lauris Davies, acting Director of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance in Seattle. “Local receiving waters can get inundated with body parts, entrails, shell particles, oil and other byproducts in volumes they just can’t handle. When discharges exceed permit requirements, companies must take swift action to comply with legal limits, or face penalties.”
As part of the settlement, the company agreed to pay a penalty of $190,000. In addition to paying the penalty, Pacific Seafood-Westport has launched a variety of new programs and implemented technologies to address compliance challenges at its Westport facility, EPA said. By calculating the environmental impact of the violations, EPA expects to see the following environmental benefits as a direct result of the enforcement action taken:
• Fecal coliform reduced by 17,995 pounds per year
• Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) reduced by 256,564 pounds per year
• Total suspended solids (TSS) reduced by 115,845 pounds per year
• Oil and grease (O&G) discharge reduced by 48,255 pounds per year
As part of the agreement, Pacific Seafood-Westport neither confirms nor denies the allegations contained in the signed Consent Agreement and Final Order, EPA said.