Pacific Seafood reaches settlement with EPA over Clean Water Act violations

Published on
June 22, 2020

Pacific Seafood has reached a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over Clean Water Act violations at their crab and shrimp processing plants in Westport, Washington, according to an EPA press release.

More than 2,000 violations had been recorded by the EPA during an unannounced inspection in 2017. Among them were discharge limit violations as well as incorrect sampling and incomplete or inadequate reporting.

“Seafood processors have wastewater discharge permit limits for a reason,” EPA Seattle Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Acting Director Lauris Davies said. “Local receiving waters can get inundated with body parts, entrails, shell particles, oil, and other byproducts in volumes they just can’t handle. When discharges exceed permit requirements, companies must take swift action to comply with legal limits, or face penalties.”

As part of the settlement, Pacific agreed to pay USD 190,000 (EUR 169,972). In addition, the company will take steps to improve compliance at their Westport plants. They plan to introduce new programs and use technology to address the issues.

The EPA calculated that the environmental impacts of these steps would result in a reduction of the discharge of 17,995 pounds of fecal coliform annually; 256,564 pounds of biochemical oxygen demand annually; 48,255 pounds of oil and grease annually and 115,845 pounds of total suspended solids annually.

As a result of the agreement, Pacific was not required to either confirm or deny the allegations. 

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

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

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