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Snug Harbor Seafood Settles Permit Violations with a Fine and “Fish and Chips” Plan

Release Date: 03/26/2007
Contact Information: Chris Gebhardt, (206) 553-0253, gebhardt.chris@epa.gov Tony Brown, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Kenai, Alaska – March 26, 2007) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Snug Harbor Seafood, Inc. (Snug Harbor), an Alaskan seafood processor located in Kenai, Alaska, have agreed to settle Snug Harbor’s past violations of its Clean Water Act NPDES permit. Under the terms of the settlement, Snug Harbor will pay $8,016 in penalties and an estimated $26,000 for an innovative pollution reduction project.

Snug Harbor, like most Alaskan seafood processors and unlike many seafood processors in the contiguous U.S., discharges seafood waste into nearby waterways. For Snug Harbor, those nearby waterways are the Kenai River and Cook Inlet, waters regulated by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). The NPDES program is a key part of the CWA because it limits discharges of pollution from entering waterways.

EPA and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation inspected Snug Harbor on July 30, 2002, and July 28, 2004, and found that Snug Harbor was not in compliance with its NPDES permit. Snug Harbor had not informed EPA about changes to its operation, failed to grind its seafood waste to ” or smaller before discharging, and did not perform daily inspections of its operations and the surface and shoreline to ensure the facility was operating correctly.

During negotiations, EPA agreed to give Snug Harbor credit for $26,582 that Snug Harbor wanted to put into creating a non-profit company, named “Fish and Chips.” “Fish and Chips” will turn discarded wood chips and at least ten tons per year of fish wastes into compost and then bag the product for local retail sale.

“We are pleased that Snug Harbor is taking a leadership role by showing industry that fish wastes can be made into an environmentally beneficial product rather than pollute waterways,” said Tara Martich, EPA’s NPDES Compliance Officer. EPA hopes other seafood processors follow Snug Harbor’s lead, by using the “Fish and Chips” facility, or by creating additional, innovative ways to use fish wastes, thereby keeping such wastes out of our rivers, bays, and oceans.”

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For more information about EPA’s NPDES discharge program, visit:
http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/index.cfm

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