Contact Us

Newsroom

News Releases

 

Norquest Seafoods, Inc. Agrees to Pay EPA $77,000 to Settle Federal Water Permit Violations at 3 Facilities

Release Date: 05/11/2006
Contact Information: Robert Grandinetti, EPA/Hanford 509-376-3748 Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle 206-553-7302

(Anchorage, AK – May 11, 2006) Norquest Seafoods, an Alaska seafood processor with facilities in Cordova, Ketchikan and Petersburg, has agreed to pay a $77,000 penalty to settle water discharge permit violations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at all three facilities.

EPA initiated its enforcement action following the discovery that the company’s facilities had violated their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. A settlement for all violations was reached and EPA signed a Consent Agreement and Final Order with Norquest.

According to Kim Ogle, EPA NPDES Compliance Unit Manager, the action was taken following an inspection at each facility, where permit violations were observed and documented.

“Protecting Alaska’s pristine waters is a top priority for us,” said EPA’s Ogle. “Discharge permits help ensure that pollutants in water discharge are minimized. We’re pleased that we were able to reach a settlement with these Norquest facilities and expect better permit compliance in the future. Alaska’s water quality deserves better compliance.”

According to documents associated with the inspections, violations documented at the facilities included:

Cordova Facility (Inspection conducted August 18, 2004)

- did not conduct an adequate daily inspection of the grinding system to confirm that the grinders are operating and reducing the size of the waste to 1/2 inch or less.
- failed to amend its BMP Plan to include the addition of a new grinder.
- failed to keep a copy of the permit at the facility.

Petersburg Facility (Inspection conducted on July 15, 2004.)

- discharged bloody seafood processing waste into a city storm drain which discharged into Wrangell Narrows.
- discharged seafood processing waste directly to the sea surface causing foam and scum build-up on the surface of the water.
- did not conduct an adequate daily inspection of the grinding system to confirm that the grinders are operating and reducing the size of the waste to 1/2 inch or less.
- discharged bloody and foamy liquid from a pipe directly into Wrangell Narrows.
- did not update BMP Plan when the facility added a new grinder.
- did not accurately record daily condition of sea surface and shoreline.

Ketchikan Facility (Inspection conducted on July 17, 2004.)

- did not conduct an adequate daily inspection of the grinding system to confirm that the grinders are operating and reducing the size of the waste to 1/2 inch or less.

A file review found the following additional violation.
- on April 18, 2005, discharged over 100 pounds of unground seafood processing waste directly into Tongass Narrows due to a failure of the pump operation system.



Related Links:

Subscribe to receive Region 10 News Releases via email