Alaska Processor Agrees to Pay Pollution Penalty
A small Kenai, Alaska, seafood processor has agreed to pay a $38,000 penalty to settle allegations that it violated the federal Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced yesterday.
Salamatof Seafoods was cited for breaching its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit during inspections conducted by the EPA and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation in 2002, 2005 and 2006. Other related violations were also cited. The company's facility discharges seafood processing wastewater into the Kenai River, which flows into Cook Inlet.
Kim Ogle, manager of the EPA's NPDES Compliance Unit in Seattle, says it's "extremely important" for seafood processors to continuously monitor their facilities.
"In impaired waters like the Kenai River, it is especially critical that Salamatof and other processors comply with the NPDES permit," says Ogle. "Discharges from seafood processors can have a large impact in Alaska waters and these permits help to protect these resources."
According to the Anchorage Daily News, Salamatof Seafoods processes at least 2 million pounds of salmon, halibut and sablefish annually. Company officials deferred comment to the plant's owner, Bob Scott, who was traveling and unavailable Wednesday.
Since 2007, at least 11 companies and individuals in Alaska, including five seafood processors, were fined for violating the Clean Water Act or ordered to clean up pollution caused by prior violations of the law, the newspaper reported.