Trident to pay six-figure fine for Clean Water Act violations in Alaska

Published on
March 7, 2018

Trident Seafoods Corp. will pay a fine of nearly USD 300,000 (EUR 243,000) to settle a complaint levied by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it violated Clean Water Act regulations at two Alaska plants.

The fine is just one measure the Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.-based company must take to resolve its issues with the EPA. In addition, Trident has agreed to remove more than three acres of waste from the sea floor near one facility, and it will place limits on the amount of waste discharged from another.

According to a civil complaint filed last month by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the EPA, Trident was allowed only to grind seafood waste from its Sand Point processing plant to a half-inch or less before discharging into a one-acre area in the Popof Strait. However, the plant, located in the Aleutian Islands roughly 600 miles southwest of Anchorage, had dumped waste beyond its one-acre limitation for at least the last eight years. 

On the other side of Alaska, Trident’s Wrangell plant, located about 130 miles south of Juneau, had a three million-pound salmon waste limit for the 2010 processing season. The EPA claimed Trident surpassed that limit by more than 920,000 pounds. The next year, it had a daily discharge limit of 289,000 pounds, but in at least two instances, it exceeded those daily limits.

The Wrangell plant also had a requirement to grind waste to no more than a half-inch before discharging it. On numerous occasions, both plants violated that regulation. 

According to an EPA press release, Trident agreed to install new filters at the Sand Point plant that would keep fish tissue and other solids from entering the strait. The company also has agreed to screen most solid waste at the Wrangell plant. 

Both measures should ensure Clean Water Act compliance, the EPA said.

“We are pleased that Trident has committed to removing the waste pile at Sand Point and to continue reducing the amount of seafood waste discharges from its operations,” said Edward Kowalski, director of the EPA Region 10 Office of Compliance and Enforcement. “This settlement is the result of a productive and successful collaboration with Trident, and will help protect the seafloor, surrounding water quality, and important habitat for a variety of marine life.”

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