Pacific Seafoods comes to an agreement with EPA over Clean Water Act violations

Published on
July 30, 2020

Pacific Seafoods-Eureka is set to pay a USD 74,500 (EUR 63,411) penalty as part of a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency over Clean Water Act violations, according to an EPA press release.

A 2018 inspection by the EPA, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, and Eureka’s Public Works Department revealed that Pacific was found discharging wastewater into Eureka, California’s sewage system, and Eureka Slough in Humboldt Bay without an appropriate permit.

The EPA found that Pacific’s violations included “wastewater from the indoor shrimp processing area bypassing the facility's pretreatment system … wastewater from the de-shelling process was observed entering a storm drain; and the company was discharging the water used to rinse off oysters and crabs directly into the Eureka Slough."

The facility also lacked “adequate secondary containment in the indoor bulk chemical storage area and outdoor chemical storage area,” and the company disposed of gloves, labels, and shells, which clogged Eureka’s sewer system.

"Humboldt Bay is an important waterway enjoyed by many Californians," said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. "Unpermitted and untreated discharges of pollutants to the bay can harm aquatic life and water quality. Industrial facilities must also treat their wastewater before it enters local sewer systems to avoid harm to the collection system and potentially impacting discharges from the treatment plant."

The EPA says that Pacific has addressed all of the issues and the settlement will be subject to a 30-day comment period and final approval.

Pacific's violation in California comes a month after a Clean Water Act settlement which stemmed from more than 2,100 violations found at the company’s Westport, Washington, facility. As part of that settlement, the company agreed to improve compliance at the plant and pay a USD 190,000 (EUR 161,709) penalty.

Pacific Seafoods employs over 3,000 people in 41 facilities across 11 states. The company is based in Clackamas, Oregon.

Photo courtesy of Chris Chase/SeafoodSource

Reporting from Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

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