Ore. seafood processor to appeal fine

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
December 8, 2009

Retailer and seafood processor Bandon Pacific on Wednesday said it will appeal a violation and resulting fine from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

The Bandon, Ore.-based subsidiary of Pacific Seafood Group of Portland, Ore., voluntarily contacted DEQ in December 2008 to ensure it was operating and reporting correctly under its wastewater discharge permit.

According to DEQ, the company has been in violation of failing to monitor its waste and water report results, discharging waste and failing to pass wastewater through a mesh screen. Bandon now faces a USD 208,544 (EUR 141,497) fine, which it says is excessive.

The company said all of the fresh water used to wash fish was screened before entering the Coquille River and that it uses nothing but fresh water in the process of cleaning and cutting the fish it sells. It was only after contacting DEQ that the company discovered it was connected to the city sewer system and is no longer discharging into the river.

"As a longtime Oregon company, Pacific Seafood and our subsidiary companies always strive to protect the environment and work to cooperate with state officials. We've done that in Bandon and are now being unfairly characterized," said Craig Urness, a company spokesman. "We realize DEQ has a job to do, but on this one, so far they have it wrong."Retailer and seafood processor Bandon Pacific on Wednesday said it will appeal a violation and resulting fine from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

The Bandon, Ore.-based subsidiary of Pacific Seafood Group of Portland, Ore., voluntarily contacted DEQ in December 2008 to ensure it was operating and reporting correctly under its wastewater discharge permit.

According to DEQ, the company has been in violation of failing to monitor its waste and water report results, discharging waste and failing to pass wastewater through a mesh screen. Bandon now faces a USD 208,544 (EUR 141,497) fine, which it says is excessive.

The company said all of the fresh water used to wash fish was screened before entering the Coquille River and that it uses nothing but fresh water in the process of cleaning and cutting the fish it sells. It was only after contacting DEQ that the company discovered it was connected to the city sewer system and is no longer discharging into the river.

"As a longtime Oregon company, Pacific Seafood and our subsidiary companies always strive to protect the environment and work to cooperate with state officials. We've done that in Bandon and are now being unfairly characterized," said Craig Urness, a company spokesman. "We realize DEQ has a job to do, but on this one, so far they have it wrong."

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