American Seafoods rights Clean Air Act violations
American Seafoods and Pacific Longline Co. have resolved a dispute over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.
A consent degree has been filed in U.S. district court in Seattle under which Seattle-based American Seafoods has agreed to pay USD 700,000 in civil penalties and to take the industry lead in converting seafood-processing vessels to more environmentally-friendly processing and freezing technology through investment. The company has also purchased and retired R-22 import allowances as required by the decree.
American Seafoods, on the of the country’s largest seafood processors, has also agreed to accelerate the conversion of all six of its active processing vessels to non-ozone depleting refrigerants by the end of 2015. The company has already begun the conversion process, having converted one-third of its fleet to the greener technology. When completed, the company estimates that it will have invested about USD 15 million to covert its vessels and improve its overall environmental footprint.
Under Environmental Protection Agency supervision, American Seafoods has also agreed to complete a comprehensive leak testing, repair and verification program on vessels that have not been converted to non-ozone depleting refrigerants prior to 28 February 2013. Other provisions of the decree include enhanced reporting requirements and restrictions on the use of inactive vessels.
“American Seafoods appreciates the efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency in reaching this agreement. The conversion of American Seafoods Co.’s vessels to non-ozone depleting refrigerants represents a significant investment by our company to ensure that we lead our industry in reducing ozone-depleting emissions,” said Matthew Latimer, the company’s general counsel and chief legal officer. “When combined with the responsible, sustainable fisheries management systems in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, these actions will assure customers and consumers that our seafood products have the lowest possible overall environmental footprint.”